tv Today in Washington CSPAN November 25, 2010 2:00am-5:59am EST
doing ok. >> thank you. >> i agree about the question of but giant is subjective. the situation that we're trying to address is not one that is -- it is one that is based on trying to create a concrete sense of who is an insider and who is an outsider. the giants of the kind you're talking -- when you have an ideal good it would then follow a great citizen that appeals to a broader group within the community. right now the issue is us versus them. interested in giants. dear. , i do not think that -- to your point, i do not think that
calling the president of allied air and that counts is accountability, that that solves the issue. there's no consequence for the person who does it, it diminishes the authority of the president, of the congress, and actually prevents thinking about people with authority, you call at giants, -- actually emerging in this a debate. >> i a glad you raised the question. in my view, the possibility for giants as individuals who are models that we can follow, that is gone. what we have our respoibility to do instead is looking at individual genius, to look at collective groups that operate differently. groups now need to be the
giants' iterms of how they deal with each other, how they talk to each other, in what way they engender trust. we need to put those models, the idea of collective genius, far more important than individual genius. and i say that for another reason because of accountability. i just heard a piece on religion edited here at emory about book burning incidents. one thing import about accountability is the relationship between the intent of a political or cultural act and its effects. there is no predictable outcome between an action and its effects. there's en a recent analysis of al qaeda in ts regard b someone who says, the way that al qaeda operates is that in
terms of its effects, not really its contents. what you have to do is immediately act on the basis of theffects of your action and natural tension. we're dealing with the mor universe in which the relationship between intent and effect is completely different. the threat of book burning, not the actual book burning, but that threat creates violence across the world. that is something that pastor may or may not have thought about. one of the things that universities absolutely ha to do in the internet age is rethink at the most ethical, foundation of the relationship between intent and effect. >> that is a very good point. if you look at the arc of history, many evil, terrible
things are done in the name of what appeared to be a good cause. certainly in the south, while some politicians and leaders -- and i mentioned george wallace before -- certainly try to invoke the rubric of states' rights, the umbrella term to cover all the things that they stood for, the enormous number of violent actions that took place under that suggested that really it was just a cover for pure white supremacy. my question would be in the current environment, do we have some concerns -- are we alarmed that no people might take action because they think they have cover, because in the current environment where you can say anything in people do, and people get on the radio and a harangue, someone might feel that they are justified in taking some action that would be unspeakable. >> i think they do take actions that are unspeakable. i do not know if we can blame
glenn beck for a timothy mcveigh. >> that is post dating him but continue. >> the things that timothy mcigh said in his interview with gorbachev, he did not say too much. -- gore vidal, he did not say too much. but he bond the fbi and the same day. there is a hostile, anti- government -- of virulence element going on in the country. and the rate of mass imprisonment, what kind of society in prisons so many of its people? and largely on the basis of mild offenses. we have had extreme expansion of
who can expand school, and the you look at the expansion of the prison system from 300,000 up to 2 million, there is something going on. it is mostly drug laws and other things from the 1970's. it is not the increase of crime or the age group that commits crime. we have a repressive environment. we have the scandal of abu ghraib, because of behavior that was done internationally that had been -- people had been trained to do that in pennsylvania. we have something very virulent going in my opinion that we're not addressing. i would say that it is connected. >> and we have certainly seen and it has to do with doctors who perform abortions. we have seen their lives taken
amid tense rhetoric from anti- abortion. we've seen that mobiltons. i am wondering if anyone feels we are anywhere close to that kind of violence taken out in any political act -- as a political life. >> i think the rest of people who said -- they work cookie. this is something that people will in the side. >> maybe we are acting in a far more subtle way. >> know. -- no. that is part of our history, especially in the 19th century. we saw in this last election, some comments about, if i did not win, there could be second
amendmen solution. that could come out of date -- believe that came out of the heated senate race in nevada. we've seen an increase in gun sales, increase in emanation sales. there is some rhetoric that i believe is over the top by a large. we try to check it from time to time in the media and other outlets, but i hope we do not resort to the kind of instability that we saw in the 19th century on issues like slavery and some of the other issues that forces as a country to grapple with what i call conclusion. whenever we have included more people into the constitution, we have had these -- sometimes it has led to fights. >> i wanted to add to -- yes. >> to reinforce the point, the
conversation that we're having today is nothing new. in the recent history of with the debate over the iraq war, a 10th of thousands of people poured into the streets of the united states. they protested the iraq war. and it was a very volatile time to the point where the president of the united states was hung in effigy and he was called a war criminal and worse. i am not accusing that behavior, not just setting it in context. this idea that the police said -- it is a good -- this idea is a good one but it should come from the top. and when you have the president of the united states calling the opponents of his agenda at enemies, as president obama did a few weeks before the election, that's not helpful. and he retracted that statement and said that he meant to say his opponents. he did catch himself and i'm glad thahe did. you have to have leaders in this
country who are going to go down the road that we are all the crying here, and that is not helpful. one final point about the concept of unity. we hear this from politicians on both sides. we want to bring the country together. i think unity has been overvalued. i think the only time you get unity for sure is enforced unity under dictatorship, and you do not have the freedom to speak in disagree. the world's great democracies -- i agree with patrick, i believe that we are incredibly simple. you look to some of the world's great democracies, and they are thwing chairs in parliament and throwing punches. to pile on the united states is an example of an civility is unfair. >> does anyone think that it is a good idea that people are so worried that their corn to be shouted down -- that they are
going to be shouted down that they just do not want a proper good idea? >> i think it is not just the fear element, which i think is very real for folks in public life, but i also think it does not make money to have very many good ideas. i think it is not possible to have good ideas in this economy -- is not possible to have good ideas in this economy. fitable to have good ideas in this economy. i asked, could you change the person w ges you topics for the day, because it seemed that is where the rub is. she said, absolutely not. that is the interesting question, because it is not possible to profit from that. it's interesting what you are
saying earlier about this question of rhetorical virtue, monica. i think that is an interesting point. obama did show rhetorical virtue in that moment. will we need to do for the future to make people think they good ideas are profitable in this society, three things for university. they need in state by record -- th need to in state aid rhetoric requirement, including the civil courts breakdowns and knowing the moment that you talk about, hank, when those ideas cease to be part of the public's fear. that is an entirely different understanding of our rhetoric requirement that we have had in the 19th century. in education. second, all university should have conflict mediation requirements were people are aware of what is happening in
debates, so that they themselves can police themselves and think about exactly when they are contributing to the breakdown which could lead to violence. and they also think that universities need to train experts to translate themselves. one of the things that on a talk about was that we should fire off all our pundits. she koestler's about. that's an interesting idea. we need to trade are all intellectuals in ways that will make our ideas more profitable. the way it -- the reason that just didn't know what to say methodism was the best religion, maybe it was because they were pluralistic libals, i'm not sure whicht said. i actually think that is not the reason it all. it is because they do not know how. they did not have the rhetorical skills to defend it. >> picking up on tha point and point that you made, hey, about
the democratizaon of the media. you implied there is something sinister about it and that is wrong. it is a good thing that more people want to participate in these debates because there is much more likely that although reckless accusations will get made, if they will also be corrected more quickly. if you become -- think of how narrow the media was up to the 1990's, very few people having access to it all. now everyone has access and most people make fools of themselves when they use it, but it is a self correcting mechanism, isn't it? ideas that have plausibility and can gather a contingency around them persist more than a few minutes. think about the point about the car ran burning plant, -- koran burning plan, although it did
not get burned because they were ashamed from doing it. it is a good story rather than a frightening one. >> it did not get burned in part because the secretary of defense and the commander of isaf called an event of two dozen people. these debates are not without consequence. it's not just hot air and they will settle down and nothing happens. this age of connectedness, people outside the united states, there will be others, the chinese will come under the radar at some point, etc. they are not historically or otherwise but quit to take atements out of the united states the same way.
secondly, it is good to have many more do voices out there -- over interpreting things has broken down. but we hav a cacophony now, we have not come up with the mechanism that regulates or aggregate's or separates good ideas from bad ideas. people are getting bombarded i teach on these issues, islamic issues, and there is no way that students in the classroom, that they can separate between ballot, factually based opinions on the issues we deal with and completely biased views that are out there. where i teach in emory, it is easy to see what better educated students with high s.a.t. scores
-- scores coming from good families half the sense of respecting one another's religions, whether they have the rhetorical skills are not. all you have to do is when they go to their dorm rooms and turn on their television and this person of that person says that as long as -- islam is that religion of the devil, and violence. you can have perveities deal with these issues, but the common folk out there, theyre subjt to unregulat information. the marketplace ultimately decides what winds, what is valid, what is right. in the end, we work on the
market information -- the market mechanism. it would you agree that the official record, instead of using the word regulated when it comes to news media, that we talk about mediated? i worry very much about the wild west atmosphere right now. things have changed a lot, the time when a managing editor of a newspaper based on all the wisdom of the wise people in nohl room would make a judgment that this is on page one, this will go with the top, this will go on the bottom, this goes on the metro front. it would be a very awful exercise that we -- many of them, completely without controls out there. now they're trying to find a way to mediate that. it is not that democratizing tool that some had thought, but i would not want to see us into
a regulatory zone. >> i think what you say is closer. our inkling of variety of things is competition straight up. we're not in a phase where we have to regulation. leading some to its own devices is danrous. -- leaving at capitalism to its own devices is dangerous. if it is not working, ultimately as a people who respond to it the same with the we respond to it as a national crisis, and there is a precedent. there was a time when it became wisdom unofficially to regulate speech. you could not insult people. you could not name call people based on race, agenda, etc.. there was no such thing as
freedom of speech on campuses if you were going t make life difficult for your classmates. what happened to what the university is raising this issue again. i am not saying that it worked, but it was regulation, it was regulation in force by teachers in classrooms, and students themselves. but there were certain rules they were put into place. >> we're getting ready to move into another phase where we are going to be asking questions from the audience, am i correct? am i going to be reading them? how are we going to do that? anyway, while we work that out, let me ask another question that goes to something dr. patton asked. any ideas on the proper role for the university and trying to influence the tone and tenor of
the national discourse? to it the university is the place where you're supposed to be able to talk about fundamental ideas. what is important, what is significant, how you understand reality, how you express yourself well? martin luther king was pointing out that part of theeason he compel people to resist segregation and discrimination is because if you do not, you have to recognize that the week -- the salvation of the week in rich's the strong. -- the salvation of the weak enriches the strong. he must spend a lot of time thinking to deal say that so clearly. i think the tone of discourse, interdisciplinary
work is key. i like what edward said, the part of the reason tha universities are divided into departments is so the people not talk to others about their ideas. you definitely would not do that outside. the university needs to be opened to outside. and when we ran activists on campus or crops or rattlers -- dropouts are radicals, but we all got run out and went to other movements. but there is a tremendous gap in derstanding ideas. you do not need a quarter-year college education to understand basic ideas of democracy. read it schools and other schools, there is a huge need for public education, public
political educatn, public for dissipation for all sorts of benefits that could be done at little expense, using the resources of the university and linking them in the community. that goes against the closed ivory tower existence of the campus. we have to change the nature of the university to be able to enhance this. >> the tier with the university has to -- let's hear what the university has to ask today. >> i'm a volunteer. these questions were randomly selected from the audience members. the first question that i have -- what a feisty you have when an intellectual debate becomes personal for ugly? what is your response to an civility -- incivility quarter margin we need to stop rewarding those who say the most of rages
things. and to somehow or another try to tone down some of their ridiculous arguments that are not based in fact, but just personal demonizing attacks. when i get a call that they want me on against and coulter, i y absolutely. i know how to disarm a conservative. that's a start talking about sex. >> and as a conservative, i can tell you she is right. >> you can spend the room and shut them up. one of my best moments during the 2010 election is in when christine o'donnell introduced us to masturbation and witchcraft. from louisiana, i love with scrap. and we can get quicker response from the devil. they do not really care.
masturbation should be a bipartisan compromise. it would solve most of our sexual problems in this country. [laughter] racine increase in technology and a decrea of public participation and interaction with each other. that is the concern i have. i have to say this for up -- because we are the 10th anniversary, but he inspired the internet but he did not see the day when somebody could be tweaking from their porch, looking at russia. [laughter] controlling the news flow of information throughout the rest of the day. but back and masturbation, i wish we did have more conversations like that. we could find ways to get along. >> up with point about social media? she just alluded to sarah palin who uses twitter very often. one of the remarkable things
throughout the campaign in 2008, which the republicans really need to learn from and take lessons from, their extraordinary use of the social media. barack obama's campaign, very adroitly used facebook in twitter, and it worked to leading to the young kids and older kids. what you're standing there listening to a concert, you're from barackeet ama. john mccain was campaigning in smoke signals. it was like night and day. it was something the republicans need to learn from. and talking about unregulated or unbridled speech, it does have an upside to the extent that it can do some good. here i am referring to the uprising in iran. but ose college kids and other
iranians did during the uprising, they use twitter and facebook before the regime could close them down. they were pleading and communicating with the outside world. this is wh is going on. to that extent, democratizing free speech has a lot of very serious and consequential upsides. >> thank you. >> in a direct and pragmatic response, donna brazile just did a wonderful example of the public use of irony about one's own group. a great example. >> and masturbation. [laughter] >> it does not have our rhetoric requirement. but seriously, two things that have helped me in this conversations, and the religious ones tend to be very volatile. if you agree on the rules
hand, so if it goes awry, you said remember the rules. in cultural conversation we assume we know what the world's are. but in other countries, the rules are really different. it is important to state those rules beforehand. in the second thing is, if it still goes to name calling without good ideas, then you simply call it and say, i am not one to call your name and i'm not want to continue this conversation unless we can move back to another space. there is real power to saying this conversation is over. we need to be braver about saying that. [applause] >> we have another question from the audience. >> another volunteer.
the question is, in order to move toward building alliances, it seemed that might be time to expand from two parties to an array of viable party. do you agree? how we spend the infrastructure? how do we expand infrastructure? ton any proportional representation system which is common in europe, but no one of them can take power is set by going into alliance with several others to greet the parliamentary majority. they have the cost and headache of working out differences among the parties which are creating the coalition. you exchange one setf procedural difficulties for another said. in that sense, the questioners is opening for a solution which does not exist. [laughter]
>> let's go the next question. >> cable news has a lot of pundits because that what most people want. how can use all this from a top- down approach? -- how can you solve this from a ?op-down approach if yo >> it starts small of the university. is there any hope of a national solution? to four people ever come together and create a national exhibit is a -- do four people ever come together and create a national gro? maybe have the big bang solution to this poisoned atmosphere that we of the right now. >> i think the question is
interesting. the assumption behind a question, if i understand it correctly, is that democracy and what do people want = popular discourse = cable news, = a putdown down discourse. i do not think that you necessarily need to assume that. a wonderful colleague here speaks about this idea of a micro public. when we speak for the public, yet the idea of a monolithic public, where is monica is quite right about the impact of social media. what is the social media movement work as well as it has is that the deal with micro publics. as they grow, they create alliances. they do not think we're there yet, but i do think the social media ha really interesting potentials for elevating public discourse by the virtue of
recognizing micro public's in creating alliances between them but we do not even know what they would look like it. that is the metaphor of a coalition blocked, it should be replaced by the idea of a coalition web. the more that we think about networks, their ideas are one of the most politically powerful ideas that are out there. i don't see them nearly reflected a enough. >> the paradigm is always the first is right, rebars is blue, conservative versus liberal, and most not aligned with either party. congress is a root canal. we spend all our time going through all the sauces macon, but you do not want to see it --
the sausage making. ju eat it. we have to figure out in cable -- i love cnn. i love cnn when there is a crisis, the situation and haiti, hurricane katrina kumho within cover the issues, they go to the people, they are on the ground bringing us the news, the fax and the information's to weaken on rigid form our own opinion to help the situation. i like the night time crossfire, because most people are trying to call down unless you watched thoughts, then you just roll. i often go right back to cnn so i can get my head together. >> i think we had equal time requirement.
>> i love donna brazile, by the way. she is one of the smartest, most honest people on the other side. i really admire her and i respect her so much. and i know when she comes on, i am going to get this straight up truth from her point of view. and she is very intellectually honest and i respect an admirer that. the paradox of cable news is that they have 24 hours to fill. you would think they have all the time in the world, but in all honesty you have no time. they have 24 hours to fill, but when donna is booked on cnn, you about 5 minute segment, your book was someone with an opposite point of view, you're anchor, sowith the tank you have maybe one minute to say your peace. you have to get it out. 50% of the country is counting
on me and 50 percent is counting on donna. so this class without a lot of deep thought into it. a quick anecdote -- house on the fox news channel from day one, when it was in october 1996, when it consisted of one camera, one camera guy, and the entire set was a medal pullout chair for me. because they did not know what they wereoing at the time and it was a brand new network, we were given 25 minute blocks of time. think about that. we're here for two hours on this panel and we have had awful civil conversation. we had 25 minutes to kick around what was happening in russia or what was happening on capitol hill. that retrospect was a lot -- a luxury. but then the cycle that's faster and they do not want people to click off.
so the segments gets shorter, they get 10 mites. then they got seven minutes. then they got five minutes. done it in testified that you do not come even if you're sitting there on election night coverage you get one shot an hour to secure peace and that he is dead. -- to say your piece and that is it. >> two more questions of weekend. >> sometimes the media will not have an impact on this. sarah palin can use twitter, so can president obama. now fox news on the other side and msn. if the ratings are any indication, cnn in the middle with conservative and liberal shows is lagging in terms of ratings if of a different perspective on the.
-- you have a different perspective on the. people are going to watch the shows that they want to shock. -- they want to watch. universities can provide something much more national direction that the other mediums in and of themselves are not able to provide. >> over here. >> you're talking about name- calling. how does the name calling affect the younger leaders of tomorrow? >> how does it affect the young leaders of tomorrow? >> they thrive on it. is it the case that one of the things we do in education is teach people self restraint. think about kids with their four
or five, they are horrible to each other. we find it in during the gradually we discipline this to prevent them from doing it. but the time they're 10 or 11 or 15, the only place they're able to do name-calling is politics. is there anyone out there thinking, i would go in the congress if only for the name calling? in a lot of people are not, so it is an interesting question. some of the educational literature suggests that if you are used to name calling and you're labeled in a particular way as a certain kind of lerner or you do not have the capacity and you have labeled slightly different, if you're going to of the bill that -- you are going to fill that in a certain way.
there is some very detrimental fax which is another reason why i think helping people to understand the difference and being able to resist certain kinds of public labels and do so not only in terms of working on self-esteem, whatever that might mean, but also verbal skills, hence the new rhetoric requirement, we would have an entirely different capacity for political engagement on our hands. >> one person said to me -- my mother said to me, is not what you call -- what you are called, but would you answer to. -- what you answer to. >> very good. >> i think it has to do with whether the name calling is ironic or if it is a threat
>> important distinction. >> i have at the mall. >> next question. to indian think there is of parallel -- >> absolutely. the tone that we are setting when we have these debates on contentious issues, on issues o equality and fairness, that often translates and transpire in our own communities. a couple of weeks ago, when we were called upon to wear purple. i wore purple on campus and encourage my students. i try to educate people about the campaign and why was important that we teach tolerance and be able to have a conversation where kids do not
feel afraid to come out and express themselves. i want to allude to what anderson cooper did that evening when he talked to the lawmaker down an oklahoma. i might get the state wrong. the lawmaker who said that i would not care if these kids died from aids and all the other vitriol. we need to teach tolerance is a way of understanding our differences and not just treat people, because they are different, or they want to express themselves and come out as they did -- is who they are. we should encourage us -- we should not encourage others to pick on them. >> another question? we're coming to the end. i just wanted to ask one final idea. i get the sense that none of us is truly alarmed that we are the worst crisis ever, but we're
taking note of the fact that things are spending a little out of control, but expanding -- spinning a little out of control. some of us wry about what it may provoke on other levels. we certainly feel from what i have heard that we might agree that there is an opportunity for an initiative on this, that teaches us once again something we shoulhave known or that we did note and long since rgotten, which is how to talk to each other. and that is at we have done today. we're talking about talking to each other. i think it's been very enlightening for me and i am sure for our audience. it has been wonderful to have such luminaries here. great wisdom, and that this point, i want to turn this over to the provost, and thank you very much.
[applause] [captioning performed by nationalaptioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> which organized this event for one simple reason. i'm a historian as well, american history. while we may argue in there is evidence that there is always been contemplation of ideas in american society, and that those ideas led to deadly consequences, is also clear that with the sort news cycle, our ability to understand what is real is constantly changing. the what isivil in discourse could actually disappear. as citizens we have responsibilities that confrontation should be about the ideas and not the individual and not who they are and what they are about. in that way, we wanted to bring
six folks together to engage us in a conversation. you have done exactly what we hoped. you have reminded us that in no way, a demracy is always in the making. -- that in a way, a democracy is always in the way. we never quite get there. we are reminded that all actions day in and day out make for what is perfect and an ideal democracy, requiring people to do what was noted earlier, to not only speak but to listen. the ability to be heard is one of the critical parts of being able to understand. as i looked and i said and i think, it is great role of the university. 25 minutes is too short and by this is impossible, either remember the first time i was on
a news program and they said, how long do i have to speak? you have 30 seconds to make two or three points. make sure that you can handle them and about six words. that is all that you have. you want to make sure that you could say and in the way they will not be edited, in a way that will not contradict what you wanto convey. the intellectual gymnastics that have to go on to be able to figure out how you will convey the simple points, in less than 30 seconds to an audience on the news cycle where you know that if something actually happens -- all livi in michigan in the was a crisis locally. you're thinking about the way when you're dealing with a range of electronic media that we have at our disposal. if you listen to this audience on this campus, and i think
campuses around the nation, we are reminded that this particular point in time, we are connected globally, locally, nationally, regionally. we may be divided 50-50 on either side of the aisle but there are a great deal of people in the middle. we all have responsibilities. a university is a wa to save time now, let's talk, let's understand. that is the role here. this will not be the first event or the only event that we engage in this year. we will sponsor several other even to remind us and to remind that the university stores have to be open. civil discourse is about community. in a singular and plural form. somehow if we get that wrong, then we risk the broader fundamental issues of democracy.
i say to those of you who participated this eveng and came out, thank you. for those watching, come back again. we will find other ways to engage this issue from different perspectives. in to our visitors from out of town and our colleagues here, i do thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> in a few moments, john bolton. in about 40 minutes, new airport security procedures. then, the "prime minister's questions" from parliament in london. and later, ireland's prime
minister announces his government's new economic recovery plan. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, an update on iraq from a brigadier-general, and casey carter joins us to discuss his book, and a look at government efforts to reduce poverty with jodie levin-epstein. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> the studentcam video documentary is in full sway. upload your video before the deadline of january 20 for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. for all of the world's on how to upload your video, go on
tuesday denote -- go online to studentcam.org. >> john bolton spoke for about 40 minutes. >> i like to welcome new to the main events. a lot also like to mention -- i would also like to mention that versions of these talks will be published in the "new criterion" february. if anyone has let his subscription lapse, now's the time prescribed. there'll also be an audio pipe cast available on our web site. it is an honor as well as a pleasure to introduce ambassador john bolton.
your programs give you a fair outline of some of his many accomplishments in his long career of public service. his important work of the state department, at the department of justice, and at their paris the figures, a pro-american voice for sanity at the united nations. [applause] i hope that is for sanity in not the united nations. [laughter] it did not indicate the quality that his admirers especially prized. his courage and willingness to speak not only truth to power, but truth to the rancid forces of political correctness and animals. how refreshing was to have a state department delicate described the north korean leader as a dictator and that life in horse korea was a hellish nightmare.
he was not congratulated for that but it is the trick. a splendid that our ambassador to the united states should it merck -- observe that there is no such thing as the united nation, there is the only the international community which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, the united states. my only quibble with his wary attitude toward you and concerns his observation that the secretariat building in new york has 38 stories. if you lost 10 stories today, it would not make a bit of difference. i would put the number higher myself. we live in age when global governance is enjoying a new lease on life, not only in the quarters of the united states in the european union, but also in the hallways in and about 1600 pennsylvania avenue. the assault on national sovereignty and american liberties is proceeding on many fronts on issues from the
environment, the tax policy, the gun-control, and national security. it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that americans could one day be answering to the unelected and unaccountable officials in brussels or the hague on these and other issues. what we're facing is an international attack on limited government whose ultimate object is the absorption of the united states into which european-style socialist superstate. john bolton has been one of our most strenuous our particular it and effective advocates for the national american -- american national sovereignty and the liberties it guarantees. please join me in welcoming a master john bolton. [applause] >> thank you very much, roger, and thank you for coming today. i want to thank the panelists this morning for a series of
really interesting, fascinating discussions on a wide variety of subjects relating to the question of individual liberty and initiative. bowsher has asked me to look at this -- roger has asked me to look at this from an international context which is important to, both for what this says about our country and the threats that we face from around the world. by coincidence or not, today is the 21st anniversary of east germany's decision to open its frontier with the west. obviously that was a signal moment in our history, given that that really reflected the beginning of the end of the cold war followed two years later on december 31, 1991 when the soviet union itself was dissolved into is constituent
republics. the the end of the cold war produces dull lot -- now the end of the cold war produced a lot of jubilation, reflecting what some would call the vindication of the week theory of history, that progress -- we are always moving forward. but it was particularly evidence after the collapse of the warsaw pact and the soviet union. people were writing things about the end of history, because obviously democracy and the free market had triumphed and there was not anything else left. it was all over and we had one. there were no further threats. it turned out, not surprisingly, that that is not true. whatever our views here in the united states, there are a lot
of other people in the rest of the world to actually do not share of the washington consensus in are not wild about representative government and the market. that leads us into a debate about exactly how we're going to respond to those other governments and their supporters, and why i think it is critical for us not to take the utilitarian arguments in favor of individual freedom as the only important arguments, important though they are. utilitarian argument for markets in particular is this is how to maximize national wealth, liberty, and all things bright and beautiful. i certainly believe that, but it does now get me from time to time that maybe the utilitarian argument does not always capture what is going on, at least in the short term, being defined as several generations of human
life. it is important to remember the moral argument for individual liberty as well, even if in any given period of history, it does not seem to be working out quite as well as it should. and to me, a moral argument was thinkut, although i don't he intended to put it this way, by of brett named john ruskin, who in 1870 route the following, one evening while as yet in the nurse's arms, i wanted to touch the t earned -- tea urn. my mother said, let him touch it. that was my first lesson in liberty. [laughter] ruskin was a socialist. my guess is that the obama remedy would be a national commission on tea urns.
steps to take care of innocent children from callous mothers and all the rest. i viewed it as a central insight into what liberty means for us, which is not merely the liberty to make decisions, but the liberty to fail, too. because markets are not good just when they are going up and turn bad when they are going down. that is the nature of markets, and i would say human life more generally. the moral component of liberty is particularly important to us when we look around the world, because i think there is a lot of bad news out there about the utilitarian side of the totalitarian and authoritarian states. they do not do badly sometimes when it comes to mobilizing resources and posing threats.
in the 20th-century, we looked at the first two world wars -- i described the successful end of the cold war. we look at the first two. the defeat of germany and the central powers in world war room and one, and the defeat of nazism in world war ii, and it looks like a pretty good century. we are three and -- 3 and 0. it did not turn out as easily as we remembered it. if hitler had restrained himself from attacking the soviet union, if he had consolidated his power over europe and focues britain instead of launching the attack against stalin's soviet union, it might well turn out differently.
if the russians had not been bled so badly in world war ii, they might have been able to hold on to their empire. we forget that one of the consequences of world war ii was the end of the european colonial empires, because britain was on its back after the war economically. france really never qualified as a major player in the war. the dutch had been wiped out. and ultimately the collapse of the soviet empire, which is what happened in 1991 was launched by the massive human and economic cost of world war ii. these are factors that ought to give us a little bit of pause when we look ahead at the challenges that we face around the world and that are precepts of representative government and
free market economies. i just want to run through, in the time we have, several examples of this so that we can continue -- begin to think about what it means to both preserve our own system of liberty versus these other visions. not all of them threats in the short term, but these other visions that are out there. let me start perhaps in probably for some with the european union. i am not a big fan of the idea that self-government in europe is as free and open as it is in the united states. number one, most european systems are parliamentary. they did not have the separation of powers. you win a majority in parliament, you control the executive branch. so much for the tension we see between president and the
congress. and even in countries like france where the constitution has a strong president and a strong parliament, it was always envisioned that in most cases they would govern in the same party. by and large, the parliamentary systems use proportional representation. they do not have their representatives tied to geographic constituencies. they run on the basis of party list that are comprised that are put together by the leaders of the party at the national level. i will leave the u.k. of this for the moment. so that if a party gets 8.9% of the national vote, it gets 9.9% of the representation in parliament according to a list that the average voters had nothing to do with. so do people vote for governments in york shire? they do. we still in many states a vote for judges and vote to recall
judges. i think that is a good thing. i can see a little of that at the federal level as an experiment from time to time. [laughter] europeans are horrified that we vote for judges. starting from what i think is a different basis in many respects, now look at the phenomenon of the european union, which encompasses the -- virtually all the domestic policy decisions of the member governments conducted in brussels in mass meetings of diplomats and bureaucrats from around the european union meet next to no transparency or visibility, certainly next to no democratic accountability on the part of the people who actually live in the european union. the figures were compiled in britain sometime back, and they are absolutely shocking. they vary a little bit depending on who you are listening to. but something like between 2/3
and 90% of all legislation that parliament passes today is enacting into u.k. law decisions that have already been made in brussels. that is phenomenal. in other countries, i am sure the percentages are roughly the same. that is why in europe today they talk about the democratic deficit, because none of the members of the so-called executive of the european union are elected by anybody other than other government bureaucrats. the european parliament is a joke that has a virtually no influence over the workings of the european union, and it does not look like that will change unless we see the breakup of the eurozone. but here you have got a largely democratic society creating a structure that is fundamentally anti-democratic and living with it happily, in ways that perhaps
were not intended at the outset of the european union but continues to progress in a direction that i think most americans would be part -- disturbed with. i think that is one of the reasons, among several, why the european union has moved away from the united states over time, because these are people who see their interests in what happens in brussels and the governments of the european union as being divorced from the interests of the nation states that making up. -- make it up. let me turn to russia which may be the biggest example that i can think of of how a country that started with a totalitarian or and authoritarian government passed out of that into a form of democracy. and maybe a passing right out the other side back into authoritarianism and maybe
totalitarianism. freedom of the press is going down. freedom of political activity is going down. control of the media and the economy are being re-centralized in the kremline. . russia is today still refer to the leader in the kremlin as they did -- russians today still refer to the leader in the kremlin as "the boss." of course they will do it. i think we can see in russia's increase belligerence where they are clearly seeking a return of a hegemony if not reunification of russianrectoion policy, while certainly not communist, may be best described as a reversion to russia of the 19th century and before is entirely comfortable with
centralized control over both politics and the economy. this may be an example of democracy blasting 10-15 years depending on how you measure it 10-15 insatingasting years depending on how you measure it. let's take china is another example, a system under the communist -- the most authoritarian in the world durin apping a t period, cpaping century of unrelieved turmoil and conflict inside china beginning with the collapse of the last chinese dynasty. we have heard for years now, really decades, that china's making progress, it is becoming a freer society, much of which
is based on what has happened to the chinese economy. to be sure, central control there has diminished. there are possibilities for on to the to prin entrepreneurship. fret least 25 years now, i have been reading about how wonderful local elections are in china, where the cadres elect the village leader. and how inevitably that will spread throughout china at the national level. 25 years in a culture that has lasted six millennia. not be in a hurry. i think 25 years is a pretty long time, where the idea of popular sovereignty would begin it to catch on a little bit more. and some would say, it did catch on a little bit more right up
until june, 1989 in tenement square when the people's liberation army voted on what it thought about increased political eveliberty. the communist party is the dominant political force in china without question. within the structure of the communist party, the people's liberation army remains the dominant political force. the chairmanship of the central military commission is the real locus of power inside china. and that does not appear to be getting ready to change, so while a lot of people talk internationally about the peaceful rise of china as in that wonderful phrase that it will be a responsible stakeholder in world affairs, i do not see that as inevitable at all, nor do i see it as a place where foreigners are necessarily treated equally and there are -- there is opportunity to make money.
you can see in research reports by the u.s. and european chambers of commerce in hong kong and beijing evidence of increased discrimination against foreign investment. at the same time, you can see evidence of china's increasing military buildup, its extension of claims in the yellow sea, the south china sea. its acquisition of blue water naval capabilities. this remains an extraordinarily centralized and highly controlled governmental system, and one that i think is being -- becoming increasingly threatening to american interests. let's take a couple of smaller cases. let's take north korea, for example. here is a state that is essentially a prison camp. it controls everything. it has been sanctioned internationally for decades and yet it possesses a nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
that have indeed it -- has intimidated its neighbors. how poor is north korea? from the time of partition in 1945 until today, when both north and south started equally poor. in fact, the north and was better off because it had more of the industrial capacity. until today, we find that the average north korean is four to 6 inches shorter than the south korean. now, this is a society that both during the bush and obama administration's we have been saying, we can help you with the economic betterment of your country if he will only give up nuclear weapons. what could we have possibly been thinking? to say that to a government that does not care that its population is literally shrinking so that it can keep nuclear weapons?
that is squeezing everything that they can of their population in a centralized government. when i hear the utilitarian argument in favor of individual freedom, if you are kim jong il, utilitarianism works his way. iran, you have a theocracy that since the islamic revolution has turned it -- turned the country into an economic basket case. and within a short period of time, it is within reach of getting nuclear weapons. the obama administration, as the bush administration, talked always about the islamic republic of iran. how sweet. forgetting that the first word of the islamic reflects the belief that iran is governed by jurisprudence that
comes directly from allah. this is what theocratic rule means. an increasingly militarized rule as the army takes control. if the word comes from god, and the only people that will understand it are the mullahs -- the idea that we would have free and fair elections in iran under that system is naive to say the least. at my favorite in atlanta america -- in latin america -- hugo chavez. it has taken him 10 years to get to the point of manipulating elections. he is a kinder and gentler version of fidel castro. he did not do it all went. he is doing it slowly. but venezuela continues to sink
under this increasingly centralized control, and he poses a threat not only to u.s. interests in the region because of his ties with russia and iran, especially on nuclear matters, but in threats to the fragile democracies elsewhere in latin america. he has interfered in the elections in mexico, colombia, ecuador, peru. he supports the farc terrorists in colombia. economy thatin, is an has incredible riches, but which are being diverted for the purpose of maintaining chavez and the military in power. as long as oil stays the price that it is, the implications for the venezuelan people are not going to slow chavez down. then there is al qaeda.
it is not even a state at all, and yet they are able to threaten and carry out terrorist organizations all around the world. that is simply a quick run through of some of the threats we face from people who do not believe history has ended, who did not follow the washington consensus, who are not wild about individual liberty and who do pose problems of one sort or another for the united states and our friends. what about the united states itself? i think we have still got in this country the most libertarian country in the world. not perfectly so, but nonetheless one where we do prize individual liberty and initiative more than in the aggregate than anyplace else in the world. consider the following -- would you think about having the
united states and any other country vote together to merge the two countries, as the europeans seem bent on doing? suppose all the provinces of canada were admitted to the united states estates. what do think the balance in the senate would be today? pretty frightening, if you want my opinion, with all due respect to our friends in canada. the lefthera thar saying, we have got global problems and global problems need global solutions. we need to get past these antiquated notions of national sovereignty, and we need to look at solutions that get you to shared sovereignty. what they are saying fundamentally is, you americans
have too much control over your government. and what you really need is to share a little bit of that with us. i think most americans do not think we have enough control over our government, even after last tuesday's election. so that they recognize that this idea of sharing its sovereignty is very directly and impingement on their authority as citizens and that the removal of sovereignty, even from as distant place as washington it to even more distant place is this something that will only work to their detriment. that is why i think ideas like the international criminal court or a number of of proposals that were being proposed at copenhagen to deal with climate although they have been rebuffed by the united states in the short term, are very much
going to be on the international agenda going forward, and i think the risk in the next two years with obama gridlocked at home domestically, he will turn his attention internationally, where he is traveling out, and think that this might be a way to achieve some of the games that he is that going to be able to get domestically. -- some of the aims he is not going to be able to get domestically. what do we conclude? the economy with almost any kind of market basis, create such an enormous potential for dead weight loss that governments have a lot of room to do so foolish things, and given the chance, they usually do. for totalitarian regimes, the lessons they should of learned from the last century are don't attack your enemies too early or
too often. with a little bit more patient you might have a better chance of succeeding. and then third and finally, i think the most important lesson of the last century is do not mess with the united states. now that's a pretty good rule, although not sufficient. there have been a conflicts where we did not prevail, usually because we did it to ourselves. we did not fight to the stalemate in korea. we stopped after the chinese intervention voluntarily. we did it to ourselves in vietnam. i would argue we did it to ourselves and the first persian gulf war by not overthrowing saddam hussein. but the big question going forward is whether this third role, do not mess with united states, still applies. as happy as i am about last
tuesday's election, this battle is far from over. it is still a jump ball over the direction of the united states, both in our domestic policy and internationally. and if the time comes around the world where people cannot worry about messing with the united states, not only is the rest of the world going to be in worse shape, we will be in a lot worse shape, too. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, john. i am sure there'll be some questions. we have a little bit of time, so please go to the microphone. >> that was a wonderful presentation. i am just wondering the extent to which you think the current republican leadership shares your assessment and in particular the potential
candidates for president in 2012? >> well, as happy as last tuesday's election returns were, i think that they will have a fairly insignificant impact on foreign and national security policy. obviously congress has of role in the treaty process, in the budgetary process, but responsibility for and direction and control of foreign policy essentially remains with the president. and i do not think that will change no matter which direction obama goes in, whether he does a clinton and tries to move center or continues to pursue an ideological agenda. i do not think we know the answer to that question. i think a big unknown is whether facing difficulty in making progress on what he wants to do
domestically, he decides to ramp up some of the things he has talked about internationally. -- where the president has a lot more flexibility and where congress, other than helping to shape the general political debate in the country which is very important, they cannot really constrain him as effectively as they can on domestic policy. so that is one of the things i am most worried about in the next two years. combined with the fact that, although the president has unambiguously and resolutely tried to avoid foreign policy questions, facing them only when he had no choice like what to do and afghanistan, the rest of the world has not been waiting for us to get our economic house in order. however much it is important to us what kind of health care system we have in this country,
ought to decide and kim jong il do not care -- ahmedinejad. they see this as a very weak administration and they are calculating policies based on that. what is suggest is that you have not simply the level of threats and problems we have had in the first two years but you will see are rising and accelerating level of threats as in the cases of extraordinary good fortune we have had in avoiding a terrorist attack just in the last 18 months, even just in the weekend before the election. yes, sir? >> i have a question about it ron and nuclear weapons. do you think there is anything short of a military strike by israel or the united states that can stop this regime from approaching building a nuclear weapon, given the fact that our
last chance a movement in iran and obama ignored it. >> i think right now the most likely outcome with respect to iran is that its nuclear weapons. even the obama administration admitted several months ago that iran could have nuclear weapons capability within a year. i think there is a lot we do not know about their program. it could be closer to that. they have proceeded more deliberately in recent years because i think they do not believe that they are threatened. certainly, in the last two years, i do not think they are threatened at all by the obama administration. i fear that the president believes that the fallback position on iran is that we can contain and deter iran once it gets nuclear weapons. i think this is badly mistaken. i think the calculus of
deterrence with respect to our regime like iran opposing an asymmetric threat to us and our friends and allies in the region and around the world is very different than the countless of the cold war standoff with the soviet union. even if i am wrong about that, the nuclear weapons problem in the middle east does not stop with iran. if iran gets a nuclear-weapons, almost surely saudi arabia will, egypt, turkey, perhaps others. in a short period of time, 5-10 years, you could see half a dozen countries in the region with nuclear weapons. and if you did not like the bipolar nuclear standoff of the cold war, a match of a multi- polar nuclear standoff and a volatile middle east -- imagine a multi-polar nuclear standoff in the volatile middle east. i think we are seeing that in the efforts of sanctions, which the administration agreed to after a year and a half of opposing them.
the continued negotiation that we will see before the end of this month will come to naught. you have two alternatives. one is that in iran with nuclear weapons. other is a preemptive military strike by the u.s. or israel. the burden of that decision falls on israel. it is extremely unattractive and undesirable to contemplate having to use military force against iran's nuclear program, but when you compare it to them option of having in iran with nuclear weapons, that is why you have to look at it. the choice that israel basically faces is not a choice between the world as it is today versus the world after a strike against iran's program. if that with a choice, that
would be easy. the world as it is today is disappearing. the choice is between the world after a strike on the nuclear program and a world where iran has nuclear-weapons. i think there is not a lot of time within which that choice will be made, and so we could well have a very, very difficult series of decisions for the president to make, whether the famous 3 a.m. call that he will have to make his mind up about. ok. thank y9oou very much. [laughter] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> thank you forhalf-hour.
host: why did all the sudden become such an issue? guest: it erupted in the last couple of weeks basically because of the procedures that were scheduled to come into place on november 1 were sprung on the population i and there was not a lot of forewarning for people to be aware of what will change in terms of the
patdown. that was sort of the first thing. the second thing is this still lingering concerns about the the two fect of different kinds of fl body scanners, one of which uses radiation. that makes some people uneasy. those two developments combined lead to some local backlash. host: we will invite our viewers to call in with theirhoughts. 202-737-0002 for democrats. republicans is 202-737-0001. and independents at 202-628- 0205. you caneigh on on facebook. what can you tell us about any reliable data or polls out there about how americans view the changes at tsa? guest: it's a mixed bag.
there was a cbs poll, then there was a "the washington post" poll and gallup, all of those wer that 2/3 or more americans supported the new measures. had 71% lp poll approval. there was a poll that came out yesterday they had 61% opposed to it. the one constant that tends to show up in all the polls -- people the trouble more, the road warriors, are a little bit more upset with the new measures than people that would msure want -- that would travel once or twice a year. host: you think that the road warriors would be prepared for it. guest: absolutely. they are drilled in the regular routine. they are the ones that have taken off their watches ahead of time.
if you're flying out oncor twice a week out of a major airport with scanners, you have too to the scanners. if you're one of the people that tends to trigger the alarms. i always set off the alarm. to go to secondary screening and you get a pat down. i have not been through it myself, by -- but by all accounts, it is very thorough. but that is not something that people want to go through two or three times a week hea. host: us go first to a caller in maryland. you are on the air. caller: my question is, i am in support of the pet down -- the patdown, but my main concern is the reason experience travelling out of the uted states. the last time i traveled of the country using delta i get a full
patdown, and i really did not ha a problem with that. they sometimes get to the sensitive areas that they touch, but i am ok withhat for now. but when you come in, back into the united states, it is very easy for you to take something into the country. host: where were you coming back from? we will hear from keith johnson. guest: the tsa is responsible for domestic security. if you remember the christmas day bomber last year, he flew in from amsterdam. the tsa had no say over what screening he got over there. one of the things they are trying to do is make sure that all of the domestic checkpoints are up to the highest standards. what i have been trying to do, and this is one of the things the tsa administrator and a homeland security have been trying to stress, is the big
news civil aviation accords. 190 countries have put on paper their commitment to tighten security. but that should mean for travelers is that you should see some sort of harmonization between the security measures you have here, the kind to have in europe, the times you have coming out of lago, but that is what they are trying to do. host: we will ask you in a moment about other countries experience come up to play in israel. this is kim on our independent line in portland, oregon. caller: a couple of comments today from the head of tsaaid that people are wearing religious headgear are exempt, and on your program that children under 12 are exempt. the lisof exemptions continues to grow. isn't that leading a situation -- leaving a situation primed for anyone who wants to exploit it? guest: the children under 12, what they had said is that they will modify the procedure for
children under 12 precisely because these initial images of children being patted down sparked the protests. there will be doing a different kind of procedure for children. there are other exemptions for -- that has been expanded to include the pilots and flight attendants. those of the background checks, who have idea, they will be taken through the regar medical detectors. they should not need the full monty. what they are trying to do is limit the number of exemptions because their point of view is that the broader you can make this the more effective if it is going to be. oynt: st. louis -- jay st. louis, go ahead. caller: i do not reay understand what the whole problem is with this full body
scanner. if a person had cancer, they would opt for chemotherapy and radiation. regardless of what it does to other organs in your body to try to be safe and stay alive. so why would they not want to go to this scanner to make sure that ty are not going to get blown up on an airplane? i just cannot understand it. guest: this is actually the point that the administration has made, that the fda has pointed out, because there have been criticisms made by several scientists about the level of radiation the scanners produce. the fda studies that basically say, the amount is really negligible. it depends on exactly how you measure it. there are all kinds of different metrics, but the bottom line is you have to go through thousands of scanning speed year to have anything resembling a dangerous level of radiation. host: keith johnson, our guest, talking about the screening
procedures as we head into the thanksgiving holiday. you spent some time overseas in the "the wall street journal" spain bureau, i want to ask you about the way procedures are done in other countries, particularly in israel. some suggest that the u.s. look at the israeli airport screening methods. what is different about what they do in israel and other countries than what we are doing in the u.s.? guest: this is what we were referring to earlier with a new international accord. every country has different ways of doing things. israel is always the gold standard. they have not had a hijacking since the late 1960's. it is also anxtremely small aviation market. has a very limited number of - flights. they dedicate a lot of resources to putting highly trained professionals into their airport security procedure. they do not use the full body scanners over there their first line of defense is personal interviews, behavioral
detection programs, basically trying to spot people that might be out of the ordinary rather than lookingor objects out of the ordinary. it is not a model tt is easy to replicate in the world biggest aviation market. and that is the problem the u.s. has had. they've tried to take some element. the tsa has a program specifically designed to mimic elements of that, which is the behavior detection program, and they have officers near checkpoint, observing passenger behavior. it is not quite as thorough. it is not been fully deployed. they have tried to take some of the pages from the israeli playbook. other countries use mixes of advanced imagery. some still use regular metal detectors. host: what is the typical flying day in terms of volume in the u.s.? how many people traveling? compare that to the thanksgiving. guest: you will have right now anywhere from 1.6 million
traveling today. in the entire thanksgiving period -- sunday has cropped up as theusiest day -- you will have 10 million people travelling over the entire thanksgiving period. host: flying? guest: yes. you'll have a 50 million people traveling and all the different modes. it's crunch time. today, sunday, and monday are the three busiest travel days of the years. this travel volume is something that no other country has to cope with. host: this is chris from seattle on our democrats live. caller: thanks for taking my call. i listened to c-span a lot. i will try to make this brief. it looks like there might be a screen before they go through that gives them a quick tutorial or sentence of what will be
expected, to inform them what is going on it so they know what to expect. i appreciate your taking the call. is a heads up for travelers the checkpoint lines per they have signs indicating what the new procedures are. they have pictures of the two different kinds of images. the tsa a minister has put out a public-service announcement that is running airports across the country explain the procedure, asking for patience and cooperation. so they belatedly tried to engage the public in terms of what to expect from them. th acknowledge that they probably could have gotten ahead of the ball little bit more, but they do not choose to do so. host: in the state of washington. this is archie on our republican line. hi. caller: it seems to me that it is an invasion of privacy and it
is an invasion of our rights as u.s. citizens to basically be put through, basically a porno thing. it's not right. it is a legal -- illegal. host: what would be the preferred way that tsa handle this? profiling method. we should go by who is clearly not acting right. they make certain that if they have envven the slightest question about a person, the person does not get on. host: your thoughts on his comments? guest: this is something that
you hear a lot. in fact, the civil rights group that filed a lawsuit against the new scanners, a violation of the fourth amendment is one of their allegations that they make in the lawsuit. quite clearly, a conitutional violation is in the crosshairs. you know what? the house of representatives and directly addressed this last year. they passed a bill that went nowhere in the senate, but it mandated these kinds of scanners to be used for secondary screening. if an alarm goes off, if you have some reas to believe that this individual has something, then you use it as a backup, but not as the primary screening technology. that is one of the issues. the question about profiling is really interesting, because in those polls, like the "the washington post" poll, 64% supported the new scanners. 70% of the respondents supported profiling. only 25% were opposed.
the main criteria that they would use for profiling was behavior. not race, religion, sex, just people acting oddly. that is what a lot of people seem to want. host: in washington, d.c., this is caroline. hi. caller: thanks very much for c- span. this is the only way the nation has of having a national convsation. i appreciate it. what i have to say is i am really concerned about all this, and if we do not figure out as a society some kind of rational way of dealing with this whole issue, i am headed in the direction of not flying at all. i'm very concerned about the exposure to radiation, screening machines. at being the case, i would be 1 to opt for the patdown approach, but that sounds pretty interested.
-- intrusive. i think the thing that gets me the most is the ct that the screening machines are not even capable of seeing internally. so we really cannot have any confidence that we are being effective in identifying terrorist material and potential terrorists. so going through all this without any confidence of being effective. guest: we now have the full body scanners that can show what is underneath the close. but they cannot show what is in the body cavity. individuals
using explosives hidden in body cavities. the new scanners to not go there. the tsa has said that for the time being, they will not g in the business of doing body cavities, which does beg the question of how effective are these things? that is one of the complaints that security professionals make about these machines. caller: this is not only a violation of the fourth amendment, but also the ninth and 10th amendment, and it is ridiculous to put us through this. there is really no threat of terrorist attacks. the christmas day bomber, he got through with no passport with toner cartridges. they're not even bonds until obama made them look at them again -- bombs until obama made them look at them again. host: there have been a couple
of columns letterset have reached a tipping. in the war on terror? --there have been a couple of columns that said have we reached a tipping point in the war on terror? guest: all the sudden, the scanners and othe patdowns push people over the edge. however, the tsa and the administration points out that these enhanced measures are response to specific things -- one, they have the continued threat. aviation is a target for al qaeda. we saw with the christmas day bomber. and there were explosives carrd it was the same type of explosives as the christmas day a bomber that was in sight the toner cartridges. the tsa pointed out that their own operatives had exposed
weaknesses in the system. one day to have let is with the patdown. there is one interesting point that the caller raised. when you look at some of the surv data, and this is the clearest in the "the washington post" poll, gauges every year since the survey was done since 20 on how concerned people are about the threat of terrorism on the aircraft they are about to board. the latest numbers are the lowest they have been since the 2001. only 30% were concerned. it is the lowest it has been since 9/11. it might be that people have gotten used to the fact that there is a residual amount of risk out there, but we cannot do is try to prevent 100% of every bad thing that could possibly happen. host: of the thanksgiving off the protest that is reported to be happening today, so far, anyway, it appears that airports
are moving fairly smoothly. what have you heard so far? guest: the biggest threat appears to be the weather, some sketchy computer systems. i spoke with some of the organizers about that earlier and they said, other folks are out there at the airports. they are hanng out fliers. they have not gotten the participation in what a delight. that was midmorning. perhaps this afternoon something else will happen, but so far all has been quiet. host: couple more calls with keith johnson on tsa screening procedures. this is derek from los angeles. hi. caller: i got a comment. i am completely against the tsa screens. i feel like we started at one point and we keep progressing to more extremes, and it does not seem like it will stop. it will keep going. i feel like someone needs to make a stand. [inaudible]
conducted, is there any accountability, is there anyone putting into a thought as to who is being called, whether they are flying or not? guest: in terms of the polls, they break it down into people who fly once a year or a couple times a year or three-four times a year, and generally the people that fly more car more upset with the new measures because they have to deal with them more. people are more supportive are the ones to your fliers for whom it is not that big a deal. it is interesting that this particular technology, which started to be rolled out in 2007 hasit is not brand new -- arked this initial conversation in the last couple of weeks, when the context of th conversation is 10 years old. host: the full body scanners are different than the other scanning units, the air pump for things that some people are selected to go through. how did those things work?
guest: those are sniffers. they put out a burst of air and they analyze the molecular content of the air. they are best used as an explosive traced units. anytime you handle explosives, like the deparle coast will sy on your shoes and under close -- molecular items will stay on your shoes and under clothion your clothing. this is something dhs says, the metal detectors is 1950's technology. it is time to step up and use the better screening technology available. host: charles in somerset, pennsylvania. caller: i think it is a good
thing that they are scanning. i know it is an invasion on liberty, but they take away the scanning, there are a lot of peoplen this country that are not americans and they would not miss the opportunity to blow up an airliner. that is is my comment. i just think there are a lot o people not celebrating thanksgiving today because they are not americans. host: let's hear from san francisco next, on our democrats line. caller: i think the full body scanner is ridiculous. i think people need to start boycotting the airline's current they initiated this from the young guy on the plane he was supposedly -- with the christmas bombing. they blew that out of proportion so that they could get these machines so they could be in basic. they used that diaper to pretend that all of the explosions that this young man carried. this is ridiculous. they need to boycott the
airlines. the should have started with the luggage. host: keith johns, what can you tell us about all men security's efforts to sniff out how terrorist may use weaknesses in our screening system, the new changes in the screening system? how his homeland security stay on top of that? guest: this is the fundamental problem with aviation security. it is a cat and mouse game in the sense that you can respond to a certain identified a threat with box cutters or shoes. liquid plo by limiting liquids. what is difficult is to anticipate the specific nature of every conceivable threat and come up with security protocol. the clearest example is the limitation on the weight of prints or toner cartridges that can be shipp by air cargo, which is a very specific customers bonds to the yemen plot, but it is almost ridiculous and its level of
specificity. they can go with a different kind of office equipment and not fall into the trap there. one of the rsons that the tsa was cagey about releasing details to the public of the nature of the new procedures, exacy how it works, what officers are looking for is because they do not want to give terrorist hous a heads up. host: just outside philadelphia, king of prussia, pennsylvan. republican caller. caller: i think it is ridiculous. a person could walk into an airport and blow up the airport and they could do that in many airports around the country host. host: even before they get into thscreening area? caller: the screen is not work if anyone swaow's something or puts it in their cabin somewhere. it is not work for anything. host: why are we not as concerned by folks that troubled by amtrak, by train, by bus-
travel by amtrack, train, by bus? guest: the single scariest moment is when you are behind 1000 people in a security line and is moving slowly and no one has been to the scanner. that is a potential problem. right now a large portion of the airport's security apparatus is designed to protect the plane about the people. in terms of surface transport, right now it is wide open. there have been a few high- profile attacks -- one in london, one in madrid. in the u.s., there has not been. in a metro you can get on with any sort of bag. tsa hinted is week that possibly they might want to think about introducing these scanners and other forms of mass transit. host: one more call. floridda. a. ray, go ahead. caller: my concern is that we
are paying a lot of attention to the airport, but there are millions of people, a lot of them are terrorists and they are in our count right now. what is to stop them from going to a shopping mall? once a shopping mall is blown up, does that mean that we need to get headed down to do our shopping -- patted down to do our shopping? host: what kind of screening happens at the borders? guest: there was one instance of a somali man who cssed in houston who may have had some relationship with a travel agency that was linked to a somali al qae militant offshoot. there is no stream of terrorists ming across the southern border. in fact, e numbers of illegal immigrants coming across the thght -- the southern border are also down. that is not to say borders are not a problem.
that was almost a decade ago. border is still an issue, but i do not think it is quite as severe an issue as people have made it out to be. host: we showed a hearing earlier talking about cargo screening. this came up in the toner cartridge issue. the potential bombs. how far along are guidelines for cargo screening in the u.s.? guest: may have made a lot of progress in domestic screening. by august 1, they had to screen 100% of air cargo. in the end, they manage to do it. it does not mean that everything is put through an x-ray machine. some get physical inspection, some get the dogs. the bugaboo is inbound cargo, because it is difficult in countries such as yemen.
the tsa has limited leverage in terms of what they can do and say to the security folks in yemen to get them to invest millions of dollars in new equipment. it is very difficult for the tsa to actually be able to change that much of what goes on on the ground. that is the main priority right now is air cargo. such a fundamental part of the entire nation's economic infrastructure -- that has to keep moving. so they are trying to find out a way to make sure it is streamlined but still safe. host: keith johnson has been our guest. you can read a lot of his work covering tsa and security issues. keith johnson from "the wall street
questions to the prime minister, michael? >> thank you, mr. speaker. i'm re the whole house will want to join me in paying tribute to guardsman christopher davis of the first battalion who died on wednesday november the 17th of afghanistan. he was the 100 british soldier to die this year a reminder of the high price that we are paying. christopher was an utterly and highly respected soldier and we send our deepest condolences to his family and his lived ones. mr. speaker, this morning i had metal with ministerial colleagues and in addition to such duties i should have more meetings. >> i join with my col dolences and express families to the families of those in the new zealand mining disaster, two of whom come from scotland. did the prime minister share my
concerns that while 100% tips are passed to the staff some are using scams to pay national insurance while ripping up to 14% of the staff tips will. will he grow to meet with myself and a delation of hospitality workers of the one year review on the operation of law on tips. >> thank you, mr. speaker. first of all, the honorable gentleman is entirely right to mention the tragic accident at the new zealand mine. i spoke to new zealand prime minister john key this morning and our thoughts and with the whole house with the 29 miners who lost their lives. i know a high commission and the consular officials are in touch with their families and doing everything to help in what might be an impossibly difficult of me on the issue oftips, the honorable memory is a wonderful campaigner on this. it's right that tips should be distributed to staff. they should not be used to top
out the minimum wage and they should not be diverted in any way. the law is very clear, tips musn't be used to back up the minimum wage and enforcement officers should take action to ensure that doesn't happen. and they should have a look of the code of practice that's produced and make sure that the hospitality industry is meeting this code of practice. >> will my right honorable friend will take steps to sort out the mess on the square and on the 29th. does he think reasonable that visitors from london to home and abroad should be faced with a no-go area surrounded by a campsite? >> i have to say i entirely agree with my right honorable friend. i will always defend the right to protest and protest peacefully and it's entirely free that people should protest but i have no reason why they are able to sleep in the square.
i had many discussions with many and i think april the 29th is too far a deadline to get this problem sorted out. >> mr. speaker, can i start by joining the prime minister in paying tribute to guardsman christopher davis of first battalion of the irish guards. he like our other troops died providing heroic service to his country. and could i also join the prime minister in expressing deep sadness of the deaths of the miners tragically killed in the mine explosion and from scotland. i know the risks of miners take from working underground and our hearts go out to the miners' family and friends. can i also thank the whole house for the good wishes on the birth of my second son samuel. and in particular, to the prime minister and his his wife for their generous gifts.
[laughter] >> i'll keep the gifts secret. [laughter] >> but i want to turn to -- i want to turn to a decision which has been made in advance of the education white paper in which there will be a statement at 12:30. is the prime minister aware of the deep concern among schools, families and leading sports men and women about the education secretary's decision to take away all of the funding from the highly successful school partnerships? will he now overrule the education secretary and reverse the decision? >> well, first of all, let me welcome the right honorable gentleman back and congratulate him again on the birth of baby samuel. i very much know what it's like. the noise the mess the chaos trying to get the children to shut up. i'm sure it was two weeks away from it all. [laughter] >> he's very welcome.
[laughter] >> the point about the sports funding of the white paper which my right honorable friend is talking about. we are taking a lot of the specific grants- we're takin a lot of the specific gnts that were spent on specific subjects and putting them into basic school funding. what it means the school's budget will go up 3.6 billion over this parliament and i have to say to the honorable gentlemen what we experienced over the last decade is, yes, a lot of money put in the sport but we didn't see a lot of progress. yeah. we didn't see a lot of progress. let me just give him one figure. the number of schools offering rugly, and gymnastics. >> the prime minister will regret that answer because he
shouldn't believe the nonsense the education secretary telling him. since 2002, we've seen an increase from 25% to 90% in the number of kids doing more than two hours of sport a week. we've seen 1 mlion more kids as part -- doing competive sport between schools. and, and i would have thought the prime minister supported this. we have a network of 200,000 volunteers from the school -- i do say to the prime minister, that sounds like the big society to me why is he undermining it? >> let me tell you what it's ended up after 10 years of this approach. only 2 in every 5 pupils play any competitive sport regularly in their school. only 2 out of 5. that is a terrible record. only 1 in 5 children play competitive sport against other schools. the approach that you took for all those years didn't work. the timeor endlessly telling
head teachers what to do, how to spend their money is over. it's time to trust head teachers, give them the budget and let them decide how to make su we have great competitive sport within school and between schools. >> okay, mr. eaker, if you won't take it from me, perhaps you will take from joe phillips who is the school sports coordinator in his constituency. she says this in a letter. i'm devastated to witness the potential demise of this legacy of the sweep of mr. gove'sen and i wished he could have talked to our students, or parents and our local sports clubs and providers. i do say to the prime minister, this is a daft decision, it is a daft decision that you should u-turn on as soon as possible. and i'm afraid it sums up this education secretary. high-handed, incompetent and unfair.
why doesn't the prime minister get it? >> last year the proportion of 11 to 15 years old playing sport went down. this was after all the money they spent, all the initiatives. it simply didn't work. what we are doing is protecting the playing fields under our planning rules where taking back the betting and borrowing schemes. but again, there is a fundamental difference. their approach was specific grant after specific grant wrapping teachers and schools in red pe and not making any progress. we take a difference approach. put the money in the school's budget, growing by 3.6 billion pounds, holding our schools olympics, promoting school sport. that's the way they will make a difference. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i ask my right honorable friend during his international negotiations regarding the island at any point did anyone actually suggest that those countries with large deficits
should be slowing down the rate in which they are reducing them? >> the honorable lady asked a very good question going to the g20, going to the g8 and going to european counselors there is absolutely nobody who thinks if you've got a big budget deficit you should do nothing about it. the only peopl who seem to be taking this view are the party opposite they've now got a new approach. they're having a policy review and it says this. this is the leader of the opposition. in terms of policy, we start with a blank page. [laughter] >> it got to be a great help with the g20. [laughter] >> russell brown. >> thank you, mr. speaker. uk border funding to support immigration on other religion work at the ports unit ceased yesterday with the commitment that all such work would be dealt with in northern ireland. without additional resources all at that location i believe that that cannot work.
if in the coming months the portshire in my constituency does not see a reduction in cases, will the prime minister revisit this issue? >> i think it's incredibly important what we do at our borders. i spent some time yesterday with the home secretary at heathrow airport meeting with u.k. staff and i want to help them go on doing that. the answer is that what we're going to do is make sure that the immigration work will be done in northern ireland and i will look at this to make sure that the system is working. >> geoffrey clifton brown. >> does my right honorable friend that a proper plan to the irish economy would be far less damaging to the wider economy this country then some of the other possible dire alternatives. >> my right honorable friend
makes a good point. every man, woman and child pays 3 million on pounds. they are very intertwined and we do right to ensure stability and growth from the irish economy. >> jim sheridan. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in the context of we're all in this together, could the prime minister explain why he is proposing to abolish the agricultural wages po protect some of the -- and at the same time, he is protected from solid scrutiny the salaries of those in the country. >> we have looked very carefully at all and tried to work out which ones need to stay and go. i think that was long overdue. we have a minimum wage in this country. we have a tax credit system and there are so many quangos that aren't doing any value. >> mr. william cash.
>> would my right honorable friend explain why at every city the city of the investigative order, the economic governments of europe and also the stabilization mechanism that this government is has more integration and no repatriation of powers? >> i'm surprised to hear that these wrong. under a previous government we would have caved in when they asked for a 6% budget piece. we will make sure -- >> order, i want to hear the prime minist's views about the honorable member for stone's views and i hope the house does. mr. prime minister? >> we will secure to make sure that future bailout mechanisms should not involve non-euro countries like britain and that is something like we're going to secure in europe.
>> mr. speaker, does the prime minister agree with me just as it is right to disclose top salaries in the public sector so it must be right to require banks to disclose a number of employees paid salary and bonuses over 1 million pounds? yes we do agree with that and the last government commissioned -- the last government commissioned the walker review, david walker has carried out that review. he's made his report. he's made very clear that he thinks that we should make progress with this transparency agenda at the same time as other european countries. that is a view we think should be taken into account. and i think it's important -- he shakes his head. the fact is -- the fact, he was part of the government that appointed david walker. i'd rather listen to someone who knows something about banking then someone who doesn't nothi something about anything. >> mr. speaker, he'll have to do better than that. he's demanding -- he's demanding
transparency, rightly from the public sector. but unless we have transparency in the banking system, then shareholders can't exercise their ties to clamp down on unacceptable bonuses. when there was news when it was in the offing and he said transparency is the key to confidence in any commitment om our banks to behave more responsibly on pay and bonuses. why won't the prime minister listen to his business secretary? >> we agree with the approach of transparency. that is why the walker review was set up. that is why we should examine what walker has to say. i have to say i will take lectures from the honorable gentleman about certain things but not about the bank. he was in the treasury wh they didn't regulate the banks properly. he was in e treasury -- he was in the treasury when they set up the tripartheid system that failed.
he was in the treasury when they had the biggest boom and the biggest bust. he was in the treasury when they gave fred goodwin a knighthood. i'd go back to the blank sheet of paper if i were you. >> i'll compare my record in the treasury anytime to his. he was there on black wednesday. black wednesday. now, isn't this just typical of the prime minister? before the election he promised a day of reckoning forhe bankers. we passed the legislation. it's there for him to implement. it's not very much to ask, mr. speaker, all that the legislation would require is that they would to have publish the banks, the number of people -- not even their names as the chancellor used to call for, the number of people getting pay and bonuses above a million pounds. it doesn't make sense to wait for europe. why doesn't the prime minister show a lead and just get it done.
he says -- he says he wants to contrast his record in the treasury. yes. let's just remind people when he was in t treasury they built the biggest budget deficit of any g20 country. we had the biggest boom and the biggest bust. he says it was his government, it was his government that set up the walker review and he should listen to what they have to say. i got to say, the honorable gentleman has got nothing to say about the deficit, has got nothing to say about regulation. he's just the nowhere man of british politics. >> mike -- >> mr. speaker, i'm sure -- i'm sure the prime minister is aware of the november campaign where a man growing mustaches for the month of november for proste caer. would he join knee half million people worldwide many in the
u.k. who are on the 25 million pounds this year in sponsorship and given how good we look, would he consider joining us next year? >> first of all, can i congratulate the gentleman of a mustache specimen of the mustache that he has grown. it's absolutely right to raise awareness about prostate cancer. i think it's a very good charitable move. i can see some of his neighbors have followed his example as have some of the people in my protection team. they are all to be commented for raising awareness about this real killer that we need to do more about. >> mr. geoffrey donaldson. >> ioin the prime minister in paying tribute to christopher davis who sadly lost his life in afghanistan. the prime minister will be aware of problems with post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by many service personnel and veterans across the united kingdom. will he give a commitment to implement in full the report prepared by his honorable friend the mber for southwest
wellshire to help our veterans and service personnel with this? >> he did an excellent report particularly about mental health issues and how we need to invest in those both in the forces and in our nhs and we're carrying out those recommendations. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can the prime minister inform the house how much foreign students contribute to the economy? how much jobs they creates and how much for funding for higher education for domestic students? >> foreign students do make a big contribution to british universities and to the british economy but i have to say to the honorable gentleman the me secretary went to heathrow yesterday to talk with border agency staff and the one thing that they all raised was the problem of bogus students coming to the u.k., people arriving at our borders who have got a visa, who are claiming to go and do a
m.a. or a b.a. and who can't speak english. i'm quite convinced as i've said at this dispatch before. we can control immigration properly by cutting down on bogus students and people coming here without a reason while also helping the u.k. economy at the same time. >> would the prime minister agree with me 162 million pounds of sports budget is a prize worth paying for the health and fitness of our school children? >> everyone wants to see an expansion of competitive sport in school. i feel absolutely passionately about this issue. the approach we've taken for the last decade has meant that only 1 in 5. that is pathetic. 1 in 5 of our children are playing competitive sport against other schools. you have a choice in politics. you can go on with an approach that is failing. you can go on with an approach that is failing or you can make a change and do it differently. they are shouting on the front bench because they know their
record was one of lots of money spent the complete failure. >> the issue of workplace bullying has been highlighted in an article in the new statesman this week. i quote ed's team a terrified -- they think they are going to kill him because -- >> order, order. the honorable gentleman will resume his seat immediately. that question has got nothing, whatever to do with government policy. mr. dennis skinner. >> if the prime minister is so keen to put a cap on immigration why did he earlier state that he gave his 100% backing for turkey to join the e.u.? surely, he knows that most immigration to britain comes from the e.u.
doesn't he think there's a stench of hypocrisy about this immigration policy of the government? >> i have to say i think the honorable gentleman is wrong for a very clear reason. if you look at immigration, the balance of migration of eopean countries and the u.k. is broadly in balance. the exss immigration is all coming outside of the e.u. the current figures were for for net migration of 2,000 a year. that is 2 million people across a decade. in our view that is too high. it needs to be cut and a cap is a very important part of that. >> jonathan moore? >> what assessment has the prime minister made of the statement that there is no such thing as an irresponsible strike? >> well, i have to say he is completely and utterly wrong and i think the world in a slightly mad place where someone who supports militant tendency can get elected to the largest union in the country on 17% of the
vote and that same union basically picks the leader of the labour party and pays all his bills. it's completely wrong and if he's going to be a reformer he better do something about it. >> thank you, mr. speaker. despite being slightly a head to the curve in the mustache stakes, can i -- can i take the prime minister back to an explaining we had in june and further to the question to the honorable gentleman for lock and is really. much more needs to be done to help troops returning from conflict. the prime minister i know is concerned about it. i am very concerned about it. and i hope that more will be done. in particular, there's smany homeless people now coming back and also the medical services are necessary. will he please commit himself to making an urge statement on this matter before long because time is rning on. >> the government very closelfocused on this issue. it's not just about medical services as the honorable gentleman says. it's also about long-term mental
health needs. in the u.s. veterans are contacted every single year to check up on the mental health status. when we look at the mental health problems that came out of the fortunes war where more people killed themselves in fortunes than died in that war we're storing up a huge problem of the future because of the incredibly active service that people have seen in both iraq and afghanistan. we need to prepare for this now. the government is fully aware of that. i'm very, very aware of it myself. i'm not sure about a parliamentary statement but we do want to legislate and make sure it goes through everything it does. >> does the prime minister believe the tax rate should be temporary like the shadow chancellor? >> yes, i agree with the shadow chancellor. the interesting question is whether the shadow anceor agrees with the leader of the opposition. the leader of the opposition has got two policies on tax, the graduate tax and the 50p tax and the shadow chancellor doesn't agree with either of them.
>> before the election, the prime minister pledged not to cut education maintenance allowanc and the deputy prime minister pledged to vote against tuition fees. can the prime minister now explain to my 17-year-old constituent lauren bedford the difference between a pledge and a promise? >> what i would say to your constituent is that we inherited a complete mess from the previous government. we have a choice. we can deal with it or we can end up if a situation like ireland and other countries where it's not just cutting educational maintenance allowaes. you'lle cutting everything. what we're going to do is replace it with something that is more targeted on those who need the money to stay on at school. that, i think, is in the best interest of her constituents and everyone else. >> eric -- >> thank you, mr. eaker. steppi stones in algeria is a children's based charity in my constituency. it worked with its nigerian partners of children who were accused of witchcraft often if
they were left they would be persecuted or killed and recently been subject to a great deal of intim days can i ask my right honorable friend to do whatever it can to assist the children's based charities in nigeria? >> well, we do have very close relations with nigeria and i'm sure the foreign office will be interested if what he has to say and the charity he's referring to does an extremely important job. >> thank you, mr. speaker. is the prime minister aware that in the nursing home in my constituency there are some of the 60,000 people across this country whose quality of life is going be shattered because of his government's decision to remove the mobility component of disability living allowance? how can he possibly justify this cruel cut of either 1895 pounds a week to some of the most decent people who have paid their taxes all their lives? >> well, it's important, i
think, that we make sure disability living allowances is paid consistently to people who are in hospital and to people who are in care homes. that's what we're doing. and as i understand it, the labour front bench support this change, yes? >> no. >> on a previous occasion, the leader of the labour party said he supported to disability living allowance or is this another area where it's back to the blank sheet of paper? >> mr. speaker, now that the government has brought forward details of its new homes bonus, will the prime minister join me in rug si council who are proceeding with proposals for substantial development? >> i do think this is important. for years we were spending lots of money on housing but not building any houses. why? 'cause ere was no incentives for authorities and we're changing that and i believe that
even though the resources are limited a lot more house-building will go ahead. >> i'm sure, mr. speaker, the prime minister will agree with me that education is a powerful agent for social mobility. and whi i welcome in principle the pupil premium, emerging details seems to suggest that taken together with the withdrawal othe education maintenance allowance, it could detour some young people from staying on education. will the prime minister agree with me thed delegation of experts to address this problem. >> i know theight honorable gentleman has addressed this problem and i'm sure the education secretary wilbe happy to meet with him to discuss this. basically what is happening here is that we're seeing per pupil funding that is not being cut and on top of that, you're going to see the 2 1/2 billion of the pupil premium. so thais going to mean overall
the education budget rising by $3.6 billion across this parliament. that's a substantial funding increase. i'm sure that the pupil premium will have the effect that i want and he wants but i'm sure he can look at the detail of it with the education secretary. >> mark spencer. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i've been recently meeting with many charities in my constituencies and indigo children and many of whom have expressed concern at the reduction of local authority funding and the timeline between the openings of the big society bank. can the prime minister assure me -- can the prime minister assure me to the access to that big fund will be quick and easy for those charities to snacks >> yes, i can. the point the honorable gentleman raises is exactly why we're raising 100 million pound transition fund to hp charities that might be affected by difficult decisions by local authorities to help them through that time. that's exactly why we're doing it. and i expect we would have the support of the whole house in doing so.
>> shaun james? >> could the prime minister explain to me how the cloture of the identity will pass the security of the country and will be replaced by a risk assessment system which surely cannot be right and cannot be safe and secure? >> i'm very happy to look in the case the right honorable lady said. we are having to make savings right acss the public sector. that does mean big cnges in the way we do things but in each case we should be looking at making sure the effect we want to have is delivered by the money we spend. we have to do that across the public sector any government we'd have to do that but i'm happy to take up her individual case. >> andrew bingham? >> and in my constituency have suffered due to excessive traffic. as we try to get the best from
the meager resources from the party opposite -- what -- what -- what words can the prime minister offer his encouragement to the residents that will bypass us in the future. >> they don't like to hear about the mess they left this country in. but just in case there aren't any doubt, we'll be talking about the mess they're making no in five months time but in five years time too. now, in terms of transporting expenditure, we are spending 30 billion pounds on transport investment. that is more than government and the party opposite planned and that means there will be schemes ahead and i wish him well with the work he'll be doing with the department of transport. >> it's now nearly four years since the collapse that left hundreds of people thousands of people throughout the country without a christmas.
to let them know that while we have a challenging time ahead, we will go through as we have in the past. the crisis that has come to ireland that we are dealing with since the middle of 2008, which we need to set out for the details as to how we deal with this between now and 2014 is similar in some respects to other crises and other countries at other times. those countries came through that crisis. they came through those problems. this is a time for us to pull together as a people, time for us to confront this challenge and to do so in a united way. to do so in a way which ensures those who have the most will make the most contribution, those whhave leased will be protected to the greatest extent we possibly can, that no one can be sheltered from the contribution that has been made towards national recovery. i think is important in conveying to people why we can have a hope and confidence in
the future. it is to say that the basic idea behind this plan is to move our present levels of revenue, levels of revenue of 2003, up to 2006. people can recall what their tax situation was in 2006, and that will give them an idea as to where they will stand on that side. in relation to government spending, we have to reduce our spendingrom 2010 back to 2007 levels. and of course central to all of this is not just the cuts in spending or the increase in taxes, but it is about growing the economy, identifying those sectors which are provinto be competitive, which are ensuring that we are burning our way in the world as we move to a past that we are earning our way in the world.
miti 1.8 million people at home in jobs -- maintaining 1.8 million people at home in jobs. we believe we can grow the economy next year by 2.75%. on average but to me now and 2014. we do that predicated on our knowledge of the flexibility of our economy and labor markets, how we have improved competitiveness, and how we continue to grow and create jobs. looking at the fact we are a strong diversified economy with a strong multinational sector, a well scaled up irish native industrial base, internationally traded services, building on our national resources and agriculture and tourism, looking to the future with confidence with a well- educated population, the youngest population in europe and the greatest number of graduates, we are smart,
resilience, proud people and we will come through this challeng because we love our country and we want to make sure our children have a future here, too. this is an expression of generational solidarity. this is about we now having come through very good times in the previous sector, unprecedented prosperity for which lessons will be learned, too. we have to make sure in this new set of circumstances we provide the policies and framework that will get us through by 2014. that we will have a public service at that stage that will decide -- where we will have tax rates and tax levels of income tax at 2006 levels, that we would have spending back to what we were spending three years ago. this is somethinthat can be achieved.
this is something that the people can envisage, a challenge that can be surmounted and it is one that we must all be determined as a people to people to overcome. i am confident i am confident that the -- i am hopefuthat this plan is another confidence-buding measure, another signpost along the road towards national recovery, a journey on which we have been on sce the crisis began. finally, to say to our people that what we have done for the last 2.5 years has made that week -- has meant that we have made adjustments on the order of 15 billion euros, 14.5 billion euros over three budgets. we face an adjustment over similar size.
we will front load this adjustment next year by taking 40% of the requirement by having a $6 billion adjustment in our 2011 budget. this is about us making sure that we plan our wayhrough these difficulties and that this four-year plaand our budget to be passed and our arrangements to be negotiated and finalized to put the facility in place that will add confidence to our people's capacity to overcome the challenges that we face, those three things can and must happen for our people in the weeks ahead. we are determined as your government to do that. we are appreciative of the assistance fm states and
european union institutions with whom we are engaged in a constructive way to find a solution to a problem that is not just for ireland to consider or to confront, but for the wider euro area as well. i hand over to john gormely. >> thank you. good afternoon, everyone. earlier this week the government brought greater certainty about the timing of the general eleion. this afternoon we present plans to bring greater economic certainty for the coming four years. we must be candid and acknowledged that these are very difficult times r the irish people. we face the biggest economic challenges in the history of the irish state, and we must work with the eu and international coterparts to achieve a good outcome keep ourselves from our current difficulties. we in the green party late great emphasis on protecting education spending in preparation for the plan. we are proud education spending
will be creased over the coming period. this is vital to protect the needs of a rising generation. increased spending on education is above all central to efforts to rebuild national prosperity. so for these and other reasons, we have prioritized education. we have also worked to ensure the best environmental practices at the heart of this plan, minimizing waste and encouraging people to better respect our environment and our resources. we have insisted that what has happened before a fair system of overcharges is introduced. i will again be frank and say that these are elements in the plan, many that are difficult for many people, a we know that we are in our current difficulties because of past mistakes leading to an unsustainable property bubble,
further inflated by reckless banking practices. since coming to government in june, 2007, we have worked with our partners to deal with the ensuing problems. we succeeded in bringing in some reforms, but also the appointments of outside people to head the financial regulation system and the central bank. overall, we in the green party worked hard to conclude this document before you here today, and we believe it is the first crucial step on the road to recovery for the irish economy. this four-year plan is the first of three crucial items whh must be achieved ahead of the general election early in the new year. the other two arthe budget of 2011, due to represented on the 22nd. this government is determined to meet our responsibilities to
successfully conclude these matters and help lay the foundations for a return of confidence and the irish economy, and above all else, ladies and gentlemen, to give the irish people greater hope in the future of this great country. thank you. >> thank you, john. ladies and gentleman, the government decided in early october to prepare a recovery plan, and i want to thank my colleagues individually and collectively for the enormous amount of work that has gone into this plan. government meetings took place on a constant basis since early october, mornings, afternoons coming evenings, weekends, and weekdays. all of that work was concentrated on rebuilding confidence in this economy, preparing areas where mistakes
were made, and the plan has been launched or is being launched today. as the negotiations for the external assistance program for financial support take place. but the work he is the government's work. as the plan points out, recovery in our economy is beginning to take shape. our underlying budget deficit this year will be 11.7% of gdp. our dget deficit will be 11% of gdp. with the benefits of the budget that will be introduced on tuesday, it will decline to 9% next year. our tax revenue this year is somewhat ahead of target so far and spending has been contained. it is expected that our gdp will record a small increase this year, improving on the forecast made at the time of last year's budget. that has happened on the back of strong export growth.
indeed, our exports have held remarkably well throughout this downturn. they are expected to grow by 6% in real terms thisear. the growth is not just coming from the multinationals. our own indigenous exporrs are also building their market share. it is to broad -- is a broad based recovery driven by exports and demand bite trading partners, and also by significant improvements and competitiveness that have already taken place. it has already been contributed to by our work fce and employers. conditions in the labor market are beginning to stabilize. unemployment, of course, is unacceptably high. the register has fallen for two consecutive month, the first time in 2007. of benefit payments will show the benefit payments will show a small surpl next year bute are beginning to pay our way in a wider world.
all of these data paint a picture of an economy that is returning to growth after a deep and prolonged recession. the purpose of the recovery plan is to plot a course and have sustainable growth in the four years ahead. the plan will dispel uncertainty, reinforce the confidence of consumers, businesses, and of those whom we trade with and are from outside the country. taxpayers have the benefit of knowing that the changes in the income tax over the life of the plan will bring us to liberals a tense -- the levels of taxation we saw as recently as 2006. taxes paid by all holders will be introduced next year, averaging just over 2000 euros per household by the end of the plan in 2014, and the minimum contribution of 100 euros per household will be the maximum contribution for those most in need, pensioners and those in
lower income. thcertainty that the plan gives about taxation over the next four years will allow consumers to plan investments and give them confidence to spend in this economy. the revenue measures in the plan will perform an overhaul our tax system, will broaden the base and provide revenue stabilization so that we can raise the necessary results to pay for public services are about to see. we know from ourxperience and the internional evidence that a broadly based tax system as its economic growth. it concerns not only the quantity of the revenue raised, but the quality of the measures adopted we will have a t system that serves an advanced, growing economy. our tax stem will continue to incentivize work and incentize enterprise, incentivize innovation, and incentivize investment. for that reason, all but 5%
corporation tax will remain unchanged -- 12.5% corporation tax will remain unchanged during the period. expenditure will be brought back to ars and will terms. the numbers at a public service will be reduced by almost 25,000 by 2014. we will not allow this reduction in numbers to be detrimental to the quality of the public service. that is why we have an agreement with our staff, that is why we have a public service agreement, and and efficiency and productivity will be delivered under this agreement. the reductions in expenditure of focus in the areas of public sector pay, pensions, social welfare, and other programs relating to the capital program. it is important to understand that they are the key drivers of expenditure, and that is why these have to be protected. careful truces have been made in determining expand -- careful choices that been made in termining expenditure over the next four years.
investment in education is a priority for the whole government. so is investment in innovation and enterprise. theswill all be maintained at high levels to foster the growth potential in our onomy. the labor market must be reformed to remove barriers to job creation and to incentivize growth and to make it worthwhile to employee and be employed. the minimum wage will be reduced, and the short-term focus return of the agreements that apply in agricultural, catering, and construction sectors is underwa agreements cannot endanger jobs or prevent the creation of jobs f younger persons. this plan is not just about expenditure assessments and taxation arrangements but these e realistic strategies for growth in this economy. the strategy is set out in the plan both in terms of the conditions that will apply to
reducing cuts and in terms of each sector of the economy and the divestment of each sector of the economynd how the state can assist in developing different sectors of the economy. by providing certainty to consumers, the plan will provide certainty that the economy desperately needs. it is important for us to recall that the economy has had strong, balanced growth in the past, and the purposes of this plans to resume the economon that track way of balanced growth. therare some matters in the past to which of necessity cannot be fully disclosed until budg on the seventh of december. the details of taxation within the annual budget and that will behe case this yr. if, in your perusal of the plasti you find it short in detail in some of those areas,
it is because more precise announcements will be made on budget day, as has been the custom and tradition. it is a rational and sensible plan and bring us out of the downturn that we are already getting out of. it will he ensure that as we climb out of it, we will do so on a sustainable basis for the teacher, ensuring that the next generation can enjoytandards of living that we have had the privilege of joining in recent times. -- of enjoying in recent times. >> the greens were very adamant that those fees would not be reintroduced the students contribution to those levels is effectively fees by anoer name, is it not, minister? >> note, and you will have to await the forthcoming budget to see how we deal with that particular issue. but we always said that
education has to be prioritized. and he agreed with this assessment that education was the most important issue, because he had the experience in his own country and in mind when they laid emphasis on education. -- on country in finland when they laid emphasis on education. again, i emphasize that you will have to await the budget to see where we go with that particular issue. >> this plan is going to cse a lot of hard chip for a lot irish people. do we really need to make savings of as much as 6 billion because the lar leader argues the figure only needs to be 4.5 billion. >> the basis for what we're having in terms of providing a
facility for the country is on the basis of a 6 billion adjustment. that is the context under which we are operating. therefore, i don't agree, obviously, with theontention on that point. the second point to make is that, ye this will ask a lot of all of our people. but i am confident that people, if we can do this in as fair and equitable way as we possibly can, that people wi see that there is a genuine effort to see that the burden is sharedppropriately and proportionately and progressively. if people can see that the basic contours, the basic format of this plan is about taxation levels and income tax at the 2006 model and spending at007 levels, then people will see over the next four years a progressive improvement in our situation.
it is about creating jobs, the conditions under which we can create more jobs for our people. without putting public finances on a more sustainable basis, we cannot have confidence or investment from business and the private sector to drive a job creation. we have got to create those conditions and work with people who are creating jobs. we believe that implementing this plan by 2014, we can get unemployment under 10% by 2014 by implementing these policies. this is a big priority for our people. it is realisti and in relation to our spending program, we have to have it affordable for the moneys that the taxpayers are able to provide in the present circumstances. finally, at the end of this plan, of the 40 billion we're spending on foreign services, 40 billion -- of the 48 billion we are spending on foreign
services, a 40 billion will be on health, education, and welfare. we must make sure we have an affordable basis from the taxpayers' point of view in providing these services. >> one thing iould really emphasize is that the 4.5 billion was an adequate figure, because i'm sure he has said many times the state is funded halfway thugh next year, and then the state runs out of money. gilmor announced that he believes spending more money next year would make it easier for us to borrow money next year. under this plan, our overall borrowing will decline next year to 9%, a sing digits. last year we were at 11.7%. this year we have to get to single digits, because every other country in the euro zone is in single-digit borrowing. never mind the single target we have to reach by a 2014. as a minimum next year, we have to get to single-digit levels. that means correction of the 6
billion. everybody has pointed this out. when the commissioner visited dublin, he extended invitations to all the parties to meet him. deputy gilmor chose not to meet him. that is their own business. but they suld be informed, and i know deputy kenny accept the figure. but debbie gilmor should inform himself of the basic facts. if we do not do a correction of 6 billion in this year's budget, we have no credible way of borrowing money to pay for our social welfare, to pay for a public salaries, to pay for our education system and health system. we have to face up to that as an asian and stop pretending that there are -- we have to face up to that as a nation and stop pretending that there are simple cure-alls. >> looking at these figures, it ems that your tax increases are going to be more than we
were expecting, in the next budget in particular on income taxes. the figures here will make the average middle-income person was off by 3000 -- worse off by 3000 euros a year. at the btom end, or reducing minimum wage, it seems that minimum wage people will be subject to the engine tax for the first timet is that the case? >> no, i think you are anticipang the budget. i n't accept your contention that there are thousands and thousands of euros been taken off, middle income taxpayers in this proposal. we are out looking at approximately 20 euros a week in terms of the individual taxpayer. i accept that, but i don't acce the rather more inflated figures that you give it there. >> "irishtown times -- irish times."
you talk about intergenerational solidarity. isn't this an attack on the younger generation? all the pensions are not going to be touched, and yet you are -- older pensions are not granted to touch, and yet you are closing of the jobs to young people. where the jobs for them? >> well, the answer is that we have to make what are called structured decisions. in other words, what is sustainable in the longer term? we are seeing that in relation to pension provisions, new entrants to employment in the public service. when this four-year period is over and we bring back balance to a public finance and we have order back in the public finances, then, of course, we can forge ahead. our horizons can go beyond 2014, but we must concentrate over the next four years on consolidating our position,
reducing what we spend as the country, and basically improving our tax base. we have to have a sustainable taxation system for the level of services we are providing at the moment. and beyond 2014, there will be a policy framework that people can look at the new policies and new possibilities. in the immediate term ahead, this is what we have to do. we will create jobs by reducing -- we were sent out your to create jobs by improving the environment under which jobs are a creed, by making sure we have more credibility and we have a more competitive industry trade that involves keeping down our costs, making sure that people can solve more -- can sell more. trading circumstances are difficult, but this year -- we had a very bad year last year, we contracted by 9% -- we see manufacturing up this year.
we are competing better, we are getting more products and services out to the market in a way that will maintain jobs at home. >> public servants have seen average reductions in take-home pay of 14% apart from the additional taxation over the last two years. that has happened without industrial disruption. it will play an ongoing part in that. we are looking at public sector pensions any reduction in public sector pensions in this particular plan. we are working and will be working to make sure that there is a reduction in number. that can be done, and the level public service can be maintained, if we work with our staff.
in relation to the and the people and their opportunities, by focusing the investment in education, we develop jobs and we develop the human capacity to build and grow this economy. >> "daily telegraph." i am looking at some the details of what you call the ficit dynamic. the assumption seems to me. -- the assumption seems to be very optimistic. there are warnings that taking this money out of the economy is not going to help with ttp in this period. it also seems that it is not a straightforward fiscal deficit problem. you have a problem with your banks. it seems that your sovereign debt assumptions in this period seem to be optimistic as well. can you tell us more about these assumptions? >> first of all, in relation to get dynamics -- to get dynamics, this is part of the negotiations. i should point out that there was of a substantial correction last year of 4 billion, notwithstanding that we had growth in gdp since.
the execution of that particular correction will cause huge damage to the economy and lead to deflation and a lack of growth. it did not happen. we have to control the spiralling debt and reduce it. we have brought it under control and we are taking a decisive step in reducing that debt and bringing it down to single-digit figures. that is essential r the future of this country, and that is what we are going to do, and that will create confidence in this cntry in its capacity to manage its own business. >> "sunday times." if you are reducing the minimum wage by a euro and you are going to reform social welfare, is it implicit that the reduction in social welfare over four years will be of a similar order, 11% or 12%? >> in relaon to the social
welfare issue, we set out in the plan how we are going to go about this. it may involve further cuts in rates dung the course of the span, given how well other activation measures wo. we are not avoiding that prospect. but obviously, we will have a very carefully consider that on a budgetary basis year over year. we have a situation where it is a very significant part, and during the good times, quite rightly so, we increase will be on the top living increases -- well beyond the top living increases, doubling the pension at the time. it was a very progressive approach in terms of helping those at the bottom to bring
them to a threshold of income. they would not have been contemplated prior to doing that. we now have a situation where we take some steps back in order to go forward again. it is obviously important that we maintain, to the greatest extent we can, many of those gains. we will not be able to keep all the gains we made, but we have to be conscious thateople on low incomes and people on soci welfare -- to assist them to the greatest extent weekend with the resources we have available and to grow jobs and opportunities for people. we saw that in the past when we sought a return to growth after the last recession. we were able to bring down fees for the work force for 12 months [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] today.
but we have to come in making these choices and the bgetary decisions going forward, be mindful of where we expect the burden to fall could we not in a position to say we can shelter people from decisions and maintain them in all circumstances. >> in respect of the inds, do they ilude the reliability with respect to the banks? >> yes, the current position. again, the forward position is a subject to negotiation. that will be made clear at the conclusion of those negotiations. as i indicated in reply to a previous question. you are right to raise the issue, because it is key to these negotiations, what our european partners are telling
us, that we need more capital investment in the banks, more efforts to transfer, and stronger guarantees in our banking system. they are looking to business on the measures the government has already adopted, and the precise cuts to this will be decided at the conclusion of the discussion. [unintelligible] again, you are anticipating a different press conference, because the negotiations have not concluded. [unintelligible] no, it doesn't, because as far as the budgetary position is concerned, the for work in the document is a realistic framework for the xt four -- the framework in the document is a realistic framework for the next four years. in terms of the realism of this framework, it is correct. >> could i make the point, in addition to bryan said -- brian said -- we are providing for reducing deficits over the next fo years, bringing it down to
3%. included in our figures are the deficit requirements of the economy going over that period. if, say, we negotiate and finalizend except the facility for the country it would be possible to cut down some of that facility instead of the debt we are putting into the figures. the difference would be the difference in if there was the interest rate -- we are putting into our figures with the deficit requirements would be by 2014. [unintelligible] >> the point you were making that apart from this, some of this may be on the banking system. in relation to that, much of the funding their is being talked about as a contingency fund. to provide fire power, and is nonecessary -- the national
pension reserve fund also stands ready to assist in the banking area, and that is not requiring any additional borrowing. >> your government has pledged specific investments in a number of major projects in northern ireland. are you determined that the will continue at the thomas lovell? >> -- are you determined that th will continue at the promised level? >> yes, i am determined, and we will be able to proceed on the course we're seeing in reductions in our capital projects. i am confident we can work through those issues and they still have the priority that we would require when the money is required. is a multi-annual project. -- these are multi-annual projects, as you know.
given to a bilateral low, and under what circumstances do you see taking up the offer? >> what consideration have you given a bilateral loan? >> we welcome the assistance from britain of a bilateral loan and also sweden and denmark. there are a number of funds that will make up the full consummate when we are finalized with our discussion. on' t nt to y anymore that. let me say that we welcome the offer that has been made. >> the chancellor has been extraordinarily supportive of ireland in this cris, and we expect a new maturity in the relationship between the united kingdom and ireland. the unit kingdom is required on a bilateral basis to be on assistance and we are grateful for that. the of a v -- they have been
ry supportive, and while we would increase taxation on the plan, it is up the government decide where those increases would take place. >> bbc news. you have a biginancial problem with your government. do you blame yourself for the rest of the world? >> no, we take our responsibility at all times. clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, one would say that there were certain things you could do differently. but in relation to theact that we are in any situation, we have to deal with the situation as it is. it is not a question of apportiong blame. the peopleill speak up it shortly anyway. what is important for the country is that we bring this plan for word, that is credible, that it is accepted by people with whom we're dealing,
acceptable to them, that we bring forward our budget and complete discussions. this country, in the last 10 years before this crisis, showed what it was capable of achieving in terms of growth rates. we overcame his or problems of under investment and underemployment in -- our own -- historic problems of under investment and under plummet in our own country. this crisis has hit the people part in many respects and people are trying to find direction and a weight forward, trying to pl for themselves a their families. it is a human issue for many people, a very human problem that is affecting many people. but we have to confront the problem and move on, and we have to be able to do that, and we can do that by having our democratic accountability as well, now and in the future. i don't want to get into that debate. that debate will be had with the campaign begins. today is about putting its best
foot forward here is what we need to do to put to rights issues that have been put to write to give ourselves the prospects of prosperity again. we are a people sufficient ability and inlligce to win our way througthis difficulty. i hope that we can do that and don't pull it together. -- and can pull it together. >> an answer from you and john goley, please, but could you give us an indative date for the next general election? i cannot do that, because i have indicated in broad terms at we're going to do. let the focus remained on today's business and let's see that this is one that has to happen. will we do is put this budget
through, enact leglation required to do that, show our commitment to 2011 is set, and then, whenever we have that completed, the people can decide on who they want to cover in the next four years -- to govern in the next four years to get this applies the implemented. -- get this plan implemented. >> this document is important from an economic point of view, and the preparation that has gone into it. it is enormously important from a political point of view. it sets out realistic options that are open and available to this country in europe ahead. this document has to behe basis of any ssible proposals in the next general election. anything ellsberg forward is not. -- anying else put forward is not. [captions copyright national
>> the following is the annual turkey pardoning at the white house rose garden. this is 10 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. >> please, everybody, have a se. good morning. i have my two trustee assistants here for one of the most important duties that i carry out as president. before everybody heads home for thanksgiving, there is one official duty i am sworn to uphold as leader of the most powerful nation on earth. today i have the awesome responsibility of granting a presidential pardon to a turkey.
it is nice to stop at least one shalacking this year. this is the turkey and his understudy, cider. they are being presented by the university, and i just want to point out, that they seem very comfortable with that turkey. as well as the man who helped raise and handle them since birth, ira. where's ira? give ira a big round of applause for raising such outstanding turkeys. i want to thank you both from the white house. apple and cider came to us from
a ranch just outside of modesto, california. 25 were selected for a final competition that involves strutting their stuff before a panel of judges with an eclectic mix of music playing in the background. kind of like a turkey version of "dancing with the stars," except the stakes for the contestants was much higher. only one pair would survive and win the big prize. life. and an all-expenses paid trip to washington, where they have been living it up on corn feed at the w. hotel. the w. hotel has really been putting them up. this is great advertising. maybe you want to stay at the w.
[ughing] >> and after today, apple and cider will spend the day at same beautiful place our first president spent his, at mount vernonon, virginia. so they will also deliver two turkeys that didn't quite make the cut to martha's table, an extraordinary group that is helping people struggling here in d.c. and i want to thank the people in pennsylvania who have now donated these turkeys two years in a row. now, this, of course, and what's truly meant by thanksgiving. a holiday that asks us to be thankful for what we have. a chance to show compassion and concern to people we've never met. it is a tradition that's brought us together as a community since before we were a nation when the
ground we're standing on was nothing but willederness. back then, the simple act of sufficient vifle was often the greatest act of all. later president lincoln declared the first annual thanksgiving in the midst of the civil war. local charities opened their doors to families that didn't have a place to celebrate thanksgiving. in times of war, our military our country has gone through great lnts to give our men and women on the frontline a turkey dinner and a taste of home. in america, we come together when times are hard. we don't give up, we don't complain, we don't turn our backs on one another, instead we look after one another and we pitch in. in the process we give to the people and the world what we love so much about this country. that's who we are, and that's who thanksgiving reminds us to be. so i hope everyone takes some
time during this holiday season to give back and serve their community in some way, and i want to take a moment to say how grateful i am to the men and women serving this country bravely and selflessly in places far away from home right now. you and your families are in our thoughts and in our prayers, and you make me so very proud to be your commander-in-chief. so on behalf of michelle, sasha, malia, and myself, i want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy and safe thanksgiving. and now, it is my great honor, as well, to give apple and cider a new lease on life. so as president of the united states, you had hereby pardoned from the thanksgiving dinner table. may you have a wonderful and
joyful life at mount vernonon. god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. [applause] let's go take a closer look at them. >> now could someone explain to me what the whole waddle thing is about? >> they don't have any sweat glands, so all the blood rushes to the waddle. >> really? well, i guess we're glad we have sweat glands.
>> in a few moments, an update on the situation in the mideast. then "washington journal" with conversations with iraq and poverty. >> here are some c-span 2 showing today. jane goodall, jeff bridges, and later, a discussion of the impact of the retirement of john paul stevens. today on c-span. from barack obama to george washington, learn more about the nation's presidents online at
the c-span video library. searchable and all free. it's washington, your way. >> now an update on the middle east from a delegation that recently traveled there hosted by the washington interests two for near east policy. this is an hour and a half. we were returning a few days ago. over the course of the next hour and a half, we will of a chance
to >> over the next houand a half, we will have a your questx about what we discovered and -- your questions about what we discovered and where we think the u.s. policy is going. just a few words of backgrounds about the trick that we took. this is the institute's 25th anniversary, and to mark this important milestone, a broad range of trustees of the washington institute joined the three of us to travel from cairo to oman to jerusalem to room a lot. i would very much like to express our gratitude to the government set of egypt and jordan, israel and the palestinian authority, all of whom been over backwards to
welcome and accommodate us throughout our trip. this is a very busy time in the middle east in many different respects, and we really were treated warmly, roiling -- as it were -- with great hospitality in every venue that we visited, and we express our gratitude to the leaders and advisers i all those places. i would also like to officially think the u.s. embassies and consulates. they were across the board helpful and considerate with their time and their personnel, often running interference for us when we were trying to make arrangements and confer meetings and hosted us and provided the news for us to meet with a broader array of
political diplomatic and cultural figures in those cultures. i am quite grateful to the fine american diplomats in that part of the world. as a set at the outset, i traveled along with my two colleagues who are here, david r. wright, a distinguished fellow and director of our project on the middle east peace process, and scott carpenter on my left, scott the director of our project devoted to amplifying the voices of mainstream muslims in the context against radical extremism. we're joined at various parts of our trip by a roving band of washington institute scholars who happened to be in the middle east for various reasons. quite proud that when we were in oman for our brief one-day
visit, we were joined by two who had been in jordan as unofficial election observers come out one with the democratic national institute, and david with the international republican institute, observing jordan's parliamentary elections which were six weeks ago today. we had the benefit of their on the ground insight into that experience. and in israel, but we were joined by two other senior officials of the washington institute, one doing important public opinion polling work in the west bank, and another who joined us after visiting lebanon and ended up his trip in israel, and i think he went -- i
guess you can go to part of that country -- and the mess on the tail end of that trip. that is all by way of background to what we did. we traveled for eight days. it is that the first time that we had traveled so we will well burst with the people and the sites that we visited. we met with very high political figures at every site. i like to say that we met with one king, two presidents, for milli -- four prime ministers, and more navy brass that you could wave a football team. and then we wt beyond officialdom and created settings for us to meet with political activists, liberal activists,
thinkers, writers, cultural leaders, journalists, scholars, and we did this in egypt on a couple of occasions, and we had a chance to do this with palestinians, and then a chance to do this quite extensively with israelis. we tried to get beyond just the official line, as it were. let me offer a series of my own brief observations and then i will turn to scott and then to david for their on more specific observations about egypt and about the israeli-palestinian arena. there were many surprises. i will not going to to many of those, surprises like the extent to which egyptians view the situation in the as being at the very top of their national security agenda -- the situation
in the sudan being the very top of their national security agenda. the most important impression that we came away with is the sense from both arabs and israelis, it is important to note that the arabs that we met with -- the arab leaders committed to the peace process, firmly on america's team. we did not go to damascus or beirut. we didn't go to other middle eastern places. we were in cairo and oman. what is clear is that both arabs, these arabs and israelis, are longing for clear american leadership. to confront regional threats. especially but not solely for iran.
everyone were asking the same question, where is america heading? what is america's objectives? does the withdrawal from iraq mean the withdrawal from this part of the world? what is america's real goal with revelation to a run? is the containment of prevention? we got the sometimes with fingers wagging, such as the speaker of the egyptian parliament who set 30 years ago, you americans were carelessly -- you carelessly lost the shah and now today you may carelessly lose egypt. and then we got a friendly, warm embrace from the king of jordan, who was eagerly, almost plaintively wanted to know where america is really going in this part of the world.
it was clear to arabs and israelis that tensions were unexpectedly strong and biting at against iran, and it welcomed that, but it was also clear that no sanctions are having their ultimate goal, which is triggering any change or even rethinking our grandpas nuclear policies. nuclear policies. we heard from arabs and israelis alike about the growing iranian influence in the arab-israeli a redneck, whether home loss -- arab-array -- arab-israeli agreement, whether hamas, or
others. even beyond the discussion of the nuclear issue. this common worry dominated discussions with every leader with whom we met. secondly, we were impressed by the fact that there seems to be the foundation for real politics in this part of the world. i am referring specifically to our visit in egypt and jordan. in egypt, holding parliamentary elections later this month, we met with courageous reforms who offered a message of liberal change. in jordan, where were your wife to days after their parliamentary election, which was -- where we arrived two days after their parliamentary elections, this was a positive note. the jordanians permitted international election observers
to monitor the election. we had quite an exchange with the egyptian political leaders about the importance of their agreeing to universal standards for elections, including the role of international monitors in this election. the pushed backward and continue to push back as we followed this closely in the last few days, pushing back on everything but the religious freedom report to further requests for international monitors. but beneath the official levels we were pleased and emboldened by the idea that there is real politics beyond just what you hear in the newspapers, that there are many people eager to engage in real politics in these countries, and this is part of the good sign of something that we ought to be encouraging. third, when you travel in israel
in the west bank there is and easy -- erie coma -- eerie calm. despite the missiles looking down from syria, lebanon, and gossip, and the reality that there is considerable hamas activity on the ground in the west bank, there is remarkable calm. israel is experiencing the lowest level of terrorism ever in the west bank. for all the international condemnation that israel suffered from its wars in lebanon and in cause of it in 2006 and 2009, with the passage of time it certainly appears that israel has succeeded in deterring both hamas and
hezbollah. and if, perhaps when, war comes again on those fronts, today the idea projects a level of confidence that it is preparing to deliver the swift crushing blows that either was not capable or chose not to do in those earlier conflicts. and perhaps it is that level of confidence combined with the aftereffects of previous conflicts, -- one hesitates to say it kept the peace -- but has perhaps kept deterrence operating. fourth, the sense of tranquillity is felt in the west bank as i said earlier as a result of several key factors. the security sense is opera to the security fences operating and it works. one can debate different aspects of that but it clearly works. the continued presence -- it is much less is that had reached --
then in the past. they've taken sizable troops out of the west bank but there is still an idf presence in parts of the west bank, steer periodically they operate at night time and various palestinian urban centers. less so than before, but it is performing what they consider to be important missions. thirdly, a remarkable improvement in the palestinian authority. i'm sure david will talk more about this. and fourthly, the development of professionally trained palestinian security forces working constantly with israel in a way that even goes beyond the level of cooperation that we had in the old days. they're much more sober levels of cooperation, the training under general dayton and now
general muller, has clearly has a maitre -- a major impact, and even at a political and strategic level. on this. paying, -- on this point, there are clear decisions taken by palestinian leaders about the and by ability -- in the viability -- inviobility about israeli targets. there are obstacles, not least is which the need for peace diplomacy to catch up with on the ground progress. i do not think anyone in the left with the impression that there can be no linkage whatsoever between the eventual
peace diplomacy and the improvement in security. but it is important to note that this improve its security occurred -- that this improvement in security occurred in the period in which there was zero diplomacy. we're talking about the total absence of israeli-palestinian diplomacy for about 20 months, except for the two-week period beginning in december. even with that, there has been remarkable improvement. and cooperation on the ground. my observation here is, yes, the diplomacy eventually has to catch up, but we should not underestimate the depths to which the israelis and palestinians have internalized the wisdom of maintaining security and security
cooperation in the west bank. fifth, compared to will recent trips in the region, everyone in our group came away with very positive impressions across the board in our meetings with palestinian leaders, who radiated optimism -- or at the very least, did not radiate a traditional complaining, demanding, "what have you done for me lately" mood. much more positive in terms of self-reliance, internal development, in terms of -- the entire ambience across the board. we're talking about the high political level, the president and his advisers, the prime
minister -- just generally a very radiating, of very positive, upbeat mood. it is not though -- it is not as if any one segment concession. no one on the palestin andian -- no one on the palestinian side signet concession. despite the fact that there are no negotiations currently under way, despite the fact that it has been 20 months since any serious engagement, you had this up meet -- is up be buoyant mood. that is -- this upbeat, buoyant mood. this is nothing to take lightly. the process of institution building has taken hold, there's a lot more now -- palestinians
have lines of credit, if they have -- they want to build on, and this is something that was a very tangible plus. sixth, our trip concluded with meetings with israeli political leaders, prime minister, the president, other members of the inner cabinet -- just at the moment when it appeared that the united states and israel were on the verge of resolving, at least temporarily, the settlement issue in a way that should clear the path to the resumption of peace talks. in our meeting with the prime minister we went over in great detail the substance of this understanding which is still not yet finalized.
and it was clear that his hope was that this will finally put to rest the issue that has reared its head now what time is now at least in the 18 months and prevented any diplomacy, any negotiation. he made it important distinction about how the u.s.-israel agreement is different than the previous moratorium. first demint point merely to say that the agreement was not finalized. there remained important things to cross about what the united states is proposing -- we can get in a greater detail. but it is not an extension of the previous moratorium, because it was unilateral.
this moratorium, should it come to pass, is the direct result of bilateral u.s.-israeli agreement. an inherent part of that agreement is that the end of this moratorium, the united states will not ask for an extension of moratorium. at the same time, he specifically dampened expectations that during the 90 days in vision for this moratorium, anyone should expect to start break through, that suddenly an agreement on borders, agreements on territory, an agreement on security is going to emerge during this 90 days. he underscored his view, which is, there's a lot of groundwork denise to be done on the security issue, -- that needs to be done on the security issue, which is israel's first order of priority in real engaging with
the palestinians, and that it would be a mistake to believe that before day '91 arrives, there will be an historic breakthrough on these issues. it is, i assume, the belief that progress can be made to keep the parties engaged at the table, and the light at the end of the timing -- tunnel will be bright enough that it will maintain their commitment to continue negotiations. but he was very clear in trying to lower expectations about what is possible. on balance, and with this i will conclude my remarks, on balance -- overall, there are some very
positive trends which deter -- which deserve greater trends -- attention in washington and nurture. the dominant message, however, remains -- come back to washington and ask your leadership where they are going. we are to a great extent dependent on american leadership. and while the middle east has been a high priority issue for your administration, the arabs and israelis say to us, from the very beginning, and what your president has made important speeches and statements, we still do not know on fundamental issues, of war and peace, of
security and stability, we still are not clear about where your government is going. and so that is the message we will be bringing back our leaders here in washington. scott. [applause] >> i like to welcome you here. it was a great privilege to travel with them. their experience in the region is much better than mine. i learned from them. you get to learn a lot about people when you travel with them. i have to say, their ability to go beyond 24/74 a long period of time was very impressive. i wanted to share tidbits from my rationale and thinking about why was that we visited cairo first. we did choose to go to cairo
first. i think the rationale there was obviously egypt, as the most populous nation in the region as the most populous in terms of -- and growing population, the challenges in terms of its economy, the role that it played in the middle east peace process historic plea, it was the best place to start in our 25th anniversary in commemoration of the celebrated peace between israel and egypt. we knew where we were going first. we did not know when exactly we would arrive in egypt. we've had been planning this for a long time and the date kept shifting around as we conform to everyone's schedule. we arrived in egypt right after
our elections. right before the egyptian elections, and precisely at the time in egypt where the ruling national democratic authority is struggling with its candidate selection process, and if that were not good enough, at the precise moment where the obama administration is trying to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the peace process. for that reason, for example, if we were unable to meet several leaders because at that moment, they left. to come here. the quick take away is that the countries that we visited, my impression, was that the egyptian leadership is the least confidence.
it projected the least confidence in itself come but that the level of participation in foreign affairs but also domestically. official egypt seemed intent on convincing -- betraying a sense of normalcy and in all of our meetings. -- portraying a sense of normalcy in all of our meeting. but in my view, they projected weakness and lack of confidence. i think this is centered fundamentally on the degree to which all of egypt is focused on this transition period that is coming up. there is in my view a level of attention and concern related to the transition in egypt from officially jumped -- offical
egypt that is creating an insularity and worry about how to affect this? it will be the first transition in 30 years in this country. there is a great deal of lack of uncertainty as to how things are going to workout. that is the context under which we arrive. what we wanted to talk about is we're egypt was going, of course. we wanted to get their impressions on the obama peace process and the initiatives that the administration was taking. but mostly, we one of the sense of where egypt is going. what is going on in the political sphere, with the aspirations of the government, and where they hope to take it. instead we really heard almost exclusively about the peace process. i want to talk about two things.
one, this impression that there was a weakness in their ability to project in foreign affairs, and secondly, about the insecurity that i thought they are feeling at home, and clearly demonstrating at home. as rob touched on, we met with parliamentary folks, the speaker of the parliament, we met with people in the ministry of foreign affairs, we met with representatives from other institutions within the egyptian elite. we met with egyptian business people. we were hosted for dinners where we were able to talk with lots of cross-cutting those, but mostly within the egyptian elite. and then we did meet with some liberal reformers and i will touch on that in a second. the most impressive thing for
me, one key indicator of this was that we met -- this was parliament, we not only met with the speaker but four or five committee chairs of various committees in the parliament, including the education committee chair, the investment committee chair, privatization -- the number of others. in a meeting of the people's assembly and the eve of an election, we could not talk at all about anything related to domestic affairs. it was all about the peace process. not only that, but as rob was saying, about the american lack of leadership generally. this notion that somehow the united states was contributing to the marginal insulation of egypt in the region. in particular, the sense that we had in our policies contributed
to the rise of iran. it was not the normal rhetoric about saddam hussein and then you took down the taliban with rival, no, we told the shah to leave tehran. going well back in history, the rise of iran was our responsibility for telling the shah to leave. as robb noted, the take away from that was that we had better be careful that we not lose egypt in the same way. on the peace process, what was interesting to me as they take away this is -- as they take away was that the leadership in
each it seemed to like dynamism on this issue. when we met with the minister of foreign affairs, an explicit statement -- if there was not progress, they would pursue the arab league initiative, which would be to help the palestinians go to the security council and seek recognition from the security council. if that did not work, and the u.s. used its veto, they would go to the general assembly and ask for a general recognition there. knowing full well it would just create a great deal of embarrassment for the administration and would not get anywhere at all. this approach in public in an immediate disavowal of the process in private, which struck me of an example with the this was lacking. the sense that because the president seemed to be week
after the elections here, somehow they could pressure the obama administration to twist netanyahu's arms and do more on the settlement issues. again, while fully recognizing that that would probably not going to happen. sudan, another example. on the one hand, the united states is powerless come up that loss, we're not doing anything, but all in sudan, please -- it is of paramount concern to --. the united states must intervene to stop the referendum from taking place there. on the one hand, this notion that the united states was powerless, but in the case of sudan, asking that the united
states intervene specifically to do something about the growing problems, not in the north, but in the south, from their perspective. on the hole in the area of foreign affairs, i sense that the egyptian establishment was looking to lay the blame for the egyptian marginal station at washington's doorstep. the other thing striking to me from official egypt was, even in our quiet time with various elites, you could not have any conversation about domestic issues. weather was labor unrest, any candidate selection process, no one wanted to talk about any of these sensitive issues. this was a large